Here we are again, is all I can think of. Tomorrow was the big day, the most amazing day of our lives, shortly followed by one of the most horrible days of our lives...how often does that happen? I can't help but think of how different our lives would be with her here; she was supposed to be here.
At the awesome news of my sister-in-law's pregnancy a few weeks ago, I realized how much I had not let myself feel for a long time. Yes, I grieve, and I think I do a pretty good job at it and I'm open to talking about it and I think about her a lot. But, not until the reality of Shey's pregnancy was staring me in the face, did I realize how many memories and desires and emotions I had just packed away for another, happier, day. I was waiting to pull them out on my terms, when I had happy news to share, when my good fortune could couch the sadness I knew I would feel from reliving those amazing, hopeful pre-Octboer moments. But, it didn't happen that way. That suitcase got thrown wide open that night and my precious memories, that I had so carefully packaged away, spilled all over the floor...and it was exactly what I needed. It was what I needed to realize the selfishness and envy that had built up in me in a year since losing Elise, trying to find our way, trying to have another baby, trying to answer the unanswerable questions.
I am on more even footing these days...what a process this is...and I've discovered so much about myself in a year. Nothing is more important than family and friends, I love good real food (and canning it!), I love Christian rock (who knew?), I love my gray hair (thanks mom) and I don't need to color it, I do want to be a mom again and we're (hopefully) getting closer to that reality, I miss my daughter and that's not going to go away.
Oh Elise, if only you were here so we could be your parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and friends. If only you could turn 1 tomorrow with us and a birthday cake and the old polish tradition of choosing between a knife (doctor), rosary (nun), money clip (banker) and shotglass (town drunk)--I'm not kidding--instead of being in an undescribable place and all we have are a few photos and a trip to the cemetary. If only so many things my head hurts. But, it's not what happened and we live with that reality and we learn to love again and to live with you in a different way.
Tomorrow we celebrate your life and the amazing gift you are to us...Happy Birthday, just a few hours early.