It's been a year today since your passing. I have been asked if it feels like a year. i guess there are two sides to that coin. If I think of specific moments of you then it feels like yesterday, I can remember your sweet smile, your laugh, your spirit but if i start to think of the last time I saw you it feels like fifty years. I start to get that all consuming feeling of grief and I literally have trouble getting air into my lungs. It feels like someone is putting their hands into my chest and slowly squeezing my heart. A whole year without you. How can this be possible?! How have I survived without you in my life? I never thought I would be able to. Sometimes when I cry myself to sleep the only comfort I can gain is to visualize you laying next to me with your arms around me.
This last year without you has been hard, hectic and trying and yet it has shown me the beauty of surviving. It is certainly more fast-paced with your sister. She never ever sits still and is constantly exploring. I think Heavenly Father heard me when I complained that I just wanted a normal naughty child who would talk back and keep me on my toes. I am sure you two are having a good laugh about that one now. The spirit in our home is much different. It's normal, exhausting, rewarding and funny. Gone are the days of quiet and reflective peace that you and I enjoyed together. Everything has its season. But oh how this adventurous little sister of yours loves you. She talks about you often, she loves visiting you at the cemetery, she kisses your grave and tells you she loves you several times a day. I think you must have made sure that I had this great little spirit in our home before you left us. She has been the reason to get up in the morning. I know you waited for her, and I am grateful. She is giving me the hugs that I know you want to. The other morning I awoke with such intense longing for you that I was already crying when I went to get your sister. She looked at me full of concern and said, "mommy sad" "mommy love you" "mommy ca?" her way of saying cuddle. As we sat in the chair where I once rocked you I felt you with us, trying to comfort me as well as your sister. I am so unbelievably thirsty for moments like this, I question whether you come back to us. Do you remember me? Do you miss me?
We have found ourselves in a new home in a new neighborhood struggling that we are not in "your home" but maybe you waited for that decision as well because we have met wonderful people who love you without ever having met you or only meeting you briefly. They have fallen in love with you and therefore by default have loved us. And somehow this building that you only stayed in for a few weeks is starting to feel like home. If I do drive in the old neighborhood I struggle. I worry that I should have stayed on the street where I raised you for forever. Maybe I would be closer to you if we had. But our home is filled with you, pictures, paintings and memorials.
We have done IVF through a deep sense that your sister is meant for a sibling. I thought it might throw me over the edge but somehow a miracle happened and we are 13 weeks into a pregnancy. If you would have told me last year that we would be three months along at your one year mark I wouldn't have believed it but life has a way of pushing you into the direction you are suppose to go. I would like to think you are preparing this little baby to come to us, telling them funny stories and to watch out for Ruby's pinching. I think this may be the last of our children. The loss of you has shattered my heart in such a way that I don't know if I can possibly handle more. I feel blessed Ruby is healthy and if this child is as well I will feel as if I don't want to tempt fate. It's not the way I saw our family being but you kinda changed my expectations of what my life would look like the moment you were born. I have to trust in that because while it has been more excruciating than I thought possible it has been more beautiful than I pictured.
Tonight after we sent you balloons covered in messages with friends and family at the cemetery your dad and I came back and listened to your funeral, something we haven't had the courage to do since we were actually there. It was beautiful. You were and are so loved. What amazing gifts and lessons you gave while on this Earth. I am sure you are being just as influential in heaven and I can't wait to get there and have people be in awe that I am Lila's mom. What a badge of pride it has been to be your mother. I am humbled that you gave me such an honor. Thank you love.
Listening to the talks was healing and also hard it made me miss you so much. To listen to me talk and to realize I had only been without you a week, I have not found that time heals wounds, in fact the time has only sharpened my grief because I am missing you so much. I am worried now that it has been a year that people will expect me to be more "over it" I have already had the comment, well, at least all the firsts are over. I can't imagine that a second birthday, or christmas without you will be anymore easy. The void of you all consuming, how can that ever go away? I once explained to someone who was asking how many children we wanted to have (as if it was as simple as wanting and then getting) that our family would never be complete. I would never feel whole or "finished" because a huge chunk of our family was missing and I would never feel that wonderful completely full feeling in this life.
Lila I miss you so much my darling. This last year has been torturous, healing, raw with grief, peaceful, miserable, joyful and all in between. We never forget you, not for one single second and we talk about you constantly in our home, your siblings will defiantly know you. You are with me and you are not. I struggle with my thoughts of where you are and I am comforted to think you are out of pain. I want you to be my little girl forever and I worry that you are needing me in a place I cannot go. I wish you could visit me, come tell me you are happy. Tell me you are waiting and counting down the days that you will see me again just like I do. I love you Lila bear, know this my sweet. I will till the day I die and then forever after. Happy Heaven day