Monday, August 8, 2011
Someday I will look at children born within a few months of 8.1.09 and not involuntarily try to picture what my daughter would look like and be doing. Someday I will not look at Gracie's second cousin, born two months before she was, and think that there should be two of them running around and climbing all over things and people at family reunions. Someday I will look at my friend's little girl, born 3.5 months before Gracie and not think that they should be playing together. Some day I will see pictures of Lyla, born about 6 weeks before Gracie, and not feel that envy...not even a little bit. Someday. Some.day. But today is. not. that. day.
Posted by Susan at 10:55 PM
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
‘How’d you do with the birthday?’ So many times I wish people would be more direct with their curiosity or questions about Gracie, and baby loss in general, but I’m not sure that today was one of those days. And then there is the question of whether or not this person really wanted to know how I did with Gracie’s birthday, or if she simply wanted to say something to acknowledge the day and she just didn’t know what else to say. Regardless, I gave my standard answer of ‘Eh – okay.’
But how did I really do with Gracie’s second birthday / angelversary? Okay. Fine. Not fine. I don’t really know, I guess. I did better with her actual birthday than I did with the day before her birthday. August 1st is technically the day that she was born, but in my mind it is really just a continuation of July 31st, which is the day Gracie died, the day that her death was confirmed and the day that I labored for 9 hours (out of 11.5 total hours). If my labor had been induced 2.5 hours earlier than it was, it’s probable that she would have been born on the 31st instead of things dragging over into a completely new day and month. So, for me it’s more about the 31st than it is the 1st.
Regardless of which day we’re talking about, I can say that there was no meltdown, no flood of tears and no drinking to drown my sorrows…so it wasn’t that bad. There was no birthday cake, no large family dinner, no large balloon release, no gifts or flowers left at her grave site by friends or family…so it wasn’t really that great, either. Most notably, there was no two-year-old Gracie. All of that was replaced with a morning at the flea market, a family nap and processing homemade baby food on Sunday and a half-day of work, an afternoon thunderstorms with torrential downpours and hail, dropping off a few more things for the memory boxes that Debbie and I donated, and an abbreviated and lonely visit to the cemetery on Monday. We took a small bouquet of flowers and released four balloons, but didn’t stay long at the cemetery since there wasn’t much break in the thunderstorms. The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful. I wanted to do more than this to honor her day(s). Over the last month we actually put quite a bit of thought into what we wanted to do on Sunday and Monday. We tossed around several ideas, but ultimately we never decided on anything that felt right. In some way, I feel like we let Gracie down with our lack of planning and our lack of ‘festivities’. Ironically, a year ago I had a feeling that this would happen. (To read about Gracie’s first birthday, read here). Hopefully next year we can get it together.
Amongst our travels, I spent much of the 31st looking at the clock and thinking about what was happening at that moment two years earlier. Thinking about every part of that awful day over and over and wondering how in the world two years can simultaneously pass so quickly and stand so completely still. It’s one of those things that you try to turn off, but just can’t. I have also spent much of the last few days thinking how different everything is. How different it is compared to one year ago. How different it is compared to two and three years ago. How different so many things in our lives are now compared to what should have been…compared to what was supposed to be. Death, new life, marriage, divorce, illness, heartache, upheaval…none of it playing out the ‘right’ way. Oh, how I wish I knew what any of it meant.
I will close with a few photos. The top photo is the remainder of the donations for the memory boxes. The others are from Monday’s visit to the cemetery. Wishing you all a peaceful week (or month, since it seems that I can’t get here and write any more frequently than once a month these days!) Loving you and missing more than anyone will ever know, baby girl!!
Posted by Susan at 10:18 PM