Monday, May 17, 2010


This week has been full of meaningful moments and meaningful memories, all with the fast-approaching anniversary in view.
May 12:
2009.One week before she died. SHSU came to confer the Bachelor of Music degree. I think it was as meaningful for them as it was for her, maybe more so.
2010. I fell apart and couldn't make it past the parking lot to work.
May 13:
1997. My mom died. My first experience with grief.
2008. Got pathology slides and reports to MD Anderson for review.
2009. We began to talk about hospice. And choices.
2010. Me, hanging on by a thread.
May 14
2008. Spent my birthday waiting with Maura and family and friends for news from M.D. Anderson, not really expecting an answer so soon. I received a homemade card from Maura that I will cherish forever.
2009. Spent my birthday waiting with Maura and family and friends, but this time in the hospital, waiting for her to die, wishing it to be delayed. Houston Dynamo came to visit.
2010. Spent my birthday with family and friends at Maura's high school. The Spring High School Choir named a scholarship after her: the Maura Cassiana De Souza Memorial Scholarship. Katie gave a speech about Maura. Her former choir teacher, Mrs. Eaton, spoke about her, and we were asked to present the plaque to the winner this first year. The plaque is beautiful. Dark wood with a center photo of sunflowers. The winner's name will be added each year on a separate nameplate and the plaque will be housed in the choir room. I didn't look to see how much the scholarship was for.
May 15.
2009. Channel 13 came to interview her in the hospital for something completely unrelated to Maura and her condition. Rather, the hospital had imposed a quiet hour to help patients rest, and they asked to interview Maura, since 90 % of the guests on the floor were there to visit her, and 100% of the time, there were people in her room. You can see that video here
2010. Joao and Lydia treated us to a night and day in San Antonio. We ate at the restaurant at the top of the Tower of the Americas. I love spending time with them.
May 16
2009. The Saturday we brought her home. They set up her bed and equipment in the middle of the living room. She was positioned for maximum visibility. Twenty people stayed in our home full-time during those days. So many more visited.
2010. Sunday, this year. Quiet.
May 17
2009. Last year, May 17, was a day of goodbyes and the Sunday Concert. So many of her friends visited that evening and sang all her requests. Everything from arias to Broadway to a simple lullaby. She asked for iced tea from Sonic and took just a few sips. That was her last truly coherent evening. The pain crisis that night was frightening.


Seana said...

Oh Erin....God bless you during this hard time of year. I am thinking about you and praying for you, your husband, and your girls. Every time I hear Chris Tomlin's "I will Rise" I think of your family and say a little prayer for you all. You are not forgotten and neither is Maura. God Bless you guys!

Anonymous said...

people who don't even know you think of you and maura and love you both!!! god bless you and your family. prayers are with you.

Mary said...

I think it is good to think about all the memories during this time...good and bad...I am cherishing Danielle's videos! I am thinking about Maura and the rest of your family non-stop!

Anonymous said...

erin, you don't know me and i have never posted on your blog before but i check it every day for new posts. I knew Maura from Sam Houston, and think of her every day, she was one of the first people who took me in when i was a freshman. I pray for you and your family each morning and hope things for everyone gets easier. I still don't feel like she's gone sometimes, it's so hard to believe.

Many blessings.

Anonymous said...

I dont know you, I didn't really know Maura, but I want you to know... I love you.

...I knew of Maura because I was in DrMrs H's voice studio and graduated in 05.

Kristin Hightower said...

I will never forget that last week of Maura's life. It impacted me in a way I never would have imagined. I miss her so much. We love you and continue to pray for strength and comfort.