The decision was easy. I remember feeling comforted by how simply it came, given that at the time I felt sure it had to be the most difficult decision of my life. So I held her hand as they took her off of the machines and even three years later I recall exactly how her hands felt in mine. And as we waited for the most agonizing four minutes, I knew that this was the end, and though painful, I would start the journey upward. Tomorrow. I was wrong. That was no where near the lowest point of grief. Only the entrance to it. And for years I've been stumbling around this dark, unfamiliar room, groping blindly for a light switch and yet afraid of what might be waiting for me once I eventually hit the switch. Only now am I beginning to feel as though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I've been wrong before. It could be the headlights of an oncoming train. Only time will tell. No matter the uncertainty, I oddly cherish this experience. You see, I've had the great opportunity to experience life entering the world. And the joy of those moments was carefully balanced with fear, and anxiety of the unknown. Because it was the beginning of a story. That same ignorance allowed me to believe, as I witnessed a life leave this earth, that it was the end. It was calm, and poignant, and final. Or, at least I thought it was, until I realized it was more the end of a chapter, and not the entire book. The bittersweet part is the clarity of hindsight. Recognizing the parts that happened that were worth cherishing. Like how I remember the feeling of her hands, the exact color of her hair, the sound of her bracelets, the smell of her perfume. And even as other details fade, these always remain. And the fact that I now realize the size of her love for me, even when measured by this giant hole it left behind. There is no age limit, no size limit, and no expiration date on a mother's love. And I truly believe that no one has ever loved, appreciated, or accepted me more, just as I am, than my mother, except the God who chose her just for me.