Our sweet baby Melody died today. It's emotionally taxing to even think about, let alone write about, and then there's the whole "what can even be said" side of it. She was perfect and precious and innocent. She was born of a mother with HIV, took ARVs prophylactically until her HIV test came back negative, and then she was taken off the drugs. The doctors think she had a reaction from going off the medicines, a withdrawal of sorts. What started out as one blistery sore turned into two, into three, into four. A low grade fever turned into 104.6. And before we knew it, she was gone.
It's left us all shaken. I've felt like I was literally trying to catch my breath most of the day. It's hard to breathe when I think about how this giggly little girl just learned to sit on her own not one week ago. And when I think about her twin sister, Memory, who will grow up not knowing her other half. And when I picture her favorite Auntie Beatrice lying in a hospital bed weeping over her when I arrived to pick her up in the wee hours of this morning. And when I contemplate how HIV doesn't just affect that one person, but generations to come.
Our Melody was big. happy. beautiful. growing. She wasn't supposed to die today.