Happy birthday my love. Another year, another birthday without you. I hope this year you and your friend Eliza are giddily eating an elaborate and beautiful cake and putting your seldom used tastebuds to good use. I hope the most amazing choir of angels are singing to you and you are celebrating by dancing on your perfect legs. I imagine you with frosting on your lips and a contagious giggle that you just can't seem to stop. I imagine you and it makes me happy.
This birthday hit me hard. I think maybe its because you were so close to your fourth birthday when you died that I just rounded up. You will forever be my four year old. But now a fifth birthday has come and you had no time in year five. No smiles, no laughter was heard. No cuddles on the couch and no looks from under those long lashes. Another number has been attributed to you and yet you are still only four. I didn't get to know Five year old Lila, to drink you in.
I am sure that you would be getting big, maybe I would be worried that your car seat and stroller were no longer fitting you. Maybe even your teeny tiny feet would grow a bit. I am sure that there would be moments I would fear for your safety from a rambunctious little sister. Maybe there would have been lots of hospital stays but maybe just maybe we would have had a year free of medical nonsense. I am sure the neighborhood kids would love you and lay by your side and talk to you. They remember you now and talk about you even though they never met you. I keep wishing "just one more year" and yet I know that I would have always wished that. But oh how I wish that you could have made this house your home, to swim in the pool and give me some memories here. I just want more. I want so much more from you, I still do. I don't know why you had to go.
This year I have struggled with feeling your absence. I felt like you are farther away. I have prayed for a moment with you, to maybe hear your precious voice, to see you standing, anything and yet I have only had subtle moments, a fleeting feeling you were with me. Maybe I should have come to expect that. You were always subtle and you always made me work for it. I wonder if it is my fault. If I am somehow so angry about you not being here that I am not open enough for you to come back to me. I hope that I can deserve a moment with you, even if in a dream. I want so much to have any interaction with you. Any moment of Lila.
People seem to be moving on. As one would expect I suppose. But discussions about you are becoming less frequent, your name is less spoken and people around me seem to be continuing on with their lives. I feel like you died yesterday. Its all so fresh and new. I feel like this hole in my chest is just as big as it was before and I can't understand why the world is continuing to rotate. Somedays I want to scream at everyone. I want to yell at the top of my lungs, My daughter died!!!! I want the world to stop and cry with me to mourn that the most beautiful thing has left it. How can we be talking about "normal" things?! How can people not see that I am shattered? How can they not see that I am faking smiles and trying to not make them feel uncomfortable with my all consuming grief? How do I continue to live like this? Trying so hard to just get up, breathe and take care of Ruby and your Daddy.
My precious girl, oh how I miss you. I truly ache for you. I didn't realize it would be so all encompassing. I knew emotionally I would be broken but I physically long for you. I have panic attacks and cant get enough air. My arms are itching to touch you to feel your weight in them once again. I miss you, so much. The void in our home is palpable and its not easing. I love you and I can not wait for the day to see you once again. You are my reason to fight, to find you and to be with you. Only then will I be truly whole again.
I love you