Named for the valley, strength of a rock, wings of a butterfly

Izas e Ixeya

Izas has always been a free spirit. It’s been her way ever since we learned we were pregnant.

Our suspicions began in Kazakhstan, where Izas was conceived; 4 pregnancy tests confirmed it.

Izas was a desired child, although it wasn’t the best time, at least that’s what I thought. Yet she had her way, so as to have a sister of almost the same age, for the two of them to be together through infancy, and making us parents to two girls only 15 months apart.

She was born big and healthy, almost 4kg. Straight away she showed us her huge smile, which she’d always wear, because Izas was naturally happy. It was nothing to do with us – she was happiness itself and she constantly showed it.

Izas e IxeyaOne holiday at the beach the two of them slept the same hotel room. Izas was then 9 months and Ixeya was 2 years. The first night after we returned home, after unintelligible cries and baby talk from the other, we moved Izas’ cot from our room to Ixeya’s room; our plan to turn what was currently our study into Izas’ room was put on hold. Those nights became their time together – they played, they chatted in that language only they understood, and when Izas learned to walk they danced at night, played “mums and dads”, teacher and pupils, they talked about things. Ixeya took care of her, even changing her nappy when she was less than three years old, more or less correctly, although surprisingly more correctly than not, and Izas loved that her sister looked after her.

Izas would fall asleep first, and Ixeya would continue playing. Izas was the early bird. At six in the morning she’d call from her room “Mama, is it daytime?” “No darling, go back to sleep”. Then she would go up to her sister’s bed and whisper “Ixeya, are you awake?” And so began another day in which they’d do everything together.

At nursery they’d wait for each other at bIndexreak, at nap time they managed to convince their teachers to let them sleep together. They didn’t need anything else, anyone else – they had each other.

Izas en LanzaroteWe discovered a wonderful hotel, a hotel especially for children, and we went there twice a year. They had such a wonderful time, with the entertainers, the Daysi doll, the mini-disco where Izas was always queen of the dance floor… It was always her dream, our dream, counting down the months until we’d go back to Lanzarote. Izas was so happy there…

This sweet, smiling, caring girl would transform into a little ruffian if any child in the park dared to annoy Ixeya, immediately letting out a tirade to defend her. If anyone was aggressive towards her, her words were always “speak to me with love and care” because that’s what she was, caring and an abundance of love.
Izas was an incredibly generous girl, sharing with others even at the age of “me me me”. Not only would she share hIndexer bucket, spade and games with anyone who came by, but when she saw two children arguing over some plaything, she turned into the “peacemaker” – she went up to them and explained that they had to take turns, and if they didn’t learn, their toys would be taken away. Her innate generousity always surprised me, and it’s one of the important things that she taught to Ixeya.

When she drew on the wall, or pinched her sister, she tilted her head to the side, lowered her eyes and said in a laconic voice “I’m soooorrry.” We soon discovered that this was her particular trick to get out of any punishment, but even though we knew it was a trick, it worked every time.
Izas e IxeyaIzas always found a way to be to be close to us. She’d get her sister to feed her. She always sought physical contact in such a gentle way, without us even noticing. She liked to feel other people’s skin against her own.

She was incredibly happy in the nursery, she loved Mercedes, and every morning when she saw her, her first words were “I love you,” accompanied by a hug and a kiss. Mercedes later told me that not a day went by without her saying this 3 or 4 times.

She was so excited to start school, not because, like most children, sheIndex wanted to be more grown up, but because for the year when Ixeya went to school and she was still in nursery, she’d still line up every day to go with her sister. She was happy because she would again share school with Ixeya.
Once again they waited for each other at break.

Izas was now 3 years old, and she still filled the room with her laugh and her smile, and she started school. In two months we would go back to Lanzarote, and then we were going to go to the wedding of Zhanna (who she adored) and David… But Izas got sick, and we couldn’t make any more plans. Our world turned upside down.

Even during her first hospital stay Izas hoped that if she was a good girl, sheIndex could still go to both places. We said yes, because that’s what we believed.
After a difficult journey through hospitals, misdiagnoses, despair, searching, fear, suffering… we went to Barcelona, to the Sant Joan de Deu hospital, where they gave us the terrible diagnosis.

Izas no longer smiled – her facial paralysis made it impossible. She no longer laughed, and we could barely hear her voice any more. She no longer sought cuddles because little by little she was losing her motor skills. But she never, ever lost her consciousness, her cognitive abilities, and thanks to that we found new ways of communicating together. But it was still so difficult to not hear her voice, her eyes barely open, not to see that mischievous look…

She said goodbye to Sergio, a good friend who made her laugh so much, who she’d enjoyed songs and little made-up games with together; she said goodbye to Mercedes, and I could again see her shine when she was with her; she said goodbye to her aunts and uncles, her grandparents, to Pili andIndex Pilar who she loved so much and with whom she had her first and only picnic (without mentioning that we had had one at home, with the blanket on the floor); to Ixeya, sitting on the hospital bed, at night, in what would be their last night together, Ixeya gave her all kinds of advice about her leaving, she told her how much she was going to miss her… and she hugged her and kissed her as only sisters know how to do.-

Izas e IxeyaBut there was one last surprise, Dora, her beloved Dora the Explorer came to see her in hospital, something for which we’ll always be grateful to Make a Wish Spain.

Every time Dora used to come on TV, Izas used to jump up and shout “It’s Dora, it’s Dora!” Her favourite thing was a Dora globe, which she used to hug to her like it was her most precious treasure.

When the big moment came between Izas and Dora, she wasn’t able to jump up, or kiss her, or hug her, but once again she had her moment. When Dora had left the room she decided that she had said goodbye to everyone, that she was tired now, that she didn’t have any strength left, and everything was all over. A few days earlier she had told us that she wanted to turn into a beautiful pink butterfly, but she was waiting. She did it well, very well, quietly, gently, with her job done.

Once again, that free spirit doing what she wanted. If she could’ve, I know she would have pulled her old “I’m sooorrrry” trick. She chose her moment to enter our lives, and she chose her moment to leave it.

She filled everyone with joy, with love, and we have been empty without her. We try to survive with our memories, but her absence leaves such a big gap…
Ixeya firmly believes that Izas is in her heart, and it’s true, she is in the hearts of all who had the luck of knowing her, of having fun with her, of loving her. But it will never be enough, and we will always miss Izas, our little pea princess.