Strings of good days...many good days in long strings...marred by randomly placed bad days. Perhaps the bad days are exacerbated by postpartum hormones. Perhaps they are fueled by frustration about my broken and largely unusable house and the lack of insurance settlement. Perhaps my own anger, bitterness and selfishness about other situations over which I have no control. Perhaps it's guilt. Perhaps they are bad days that really have no explanation.
Today. Today was a bad day. I stopped by the cemetery for 5 minutes, and found that the grass and sod in a large portion of the cemetery had been kicked up by someone or something. Have to say, despite the fact that our family plot was untouched, I was pretty bothered by what I saw. I'm bitter and frustrated about some things at work. After a long work day I sat down and scrolled through my FB news feed, only to find that the cat I got as a kitten (who has lived with my dad since I went to college, but she was still my cat) in 1993 got hit by a car and died this morning. I accepted the fact that she had just turned 19 and had become pretty feeble and probably couldn't move fast enough to save herself, and that maybe it was time (and the fact that my step-mom decided to post it on FB before telling me that she had died)....and I kept scrolling. That continued scrolling brought me to a very innocent picture of my best friend's three-year-old all dressed for her first day of preschool. Today was the first day of school for many preschools and schools on the east coast, and FB was saturated with 'first day' photos, but this was the only one that bothered me. My friend and I were pregnant together and our first born girls were separated by only 3.5 months, which means that my Gracie should be starting preschool, too. All I could do was sit at my desk and cry....and then come home and cry some more as I nursed my 5 week old. And cry again as I sat down to type here tonight.
When I was driving between schools today, I found myself mindlessly singing along with the radio...
"...These are the moments I know all I need is this, I have all I've waited for, and I could not ask for more..."Some days these words perfectly describe how I feel about life. Other days, these words couldn't be further from the truth. I don't have all I've waited for, and there is certainly something more I could ask for. I want my daughter back. I don't think that's too much to ask. I feel so fulfilled by the relationship that I have with my husband, and by the two beautiful girls that we have added to our family since losing Gracie, but the whole in the middle of that fulfillment just can't be ignored sometimes.
As I shed my tears, work through my thoughts and type these words, I know that it's all normal and that I'm perfectly entitled to every single feeling that I have. Yet, I can't help but feel overwhelming guilt at the same time. Guilt because I could not bring myself to do anything special or meaningful on Gracie's birthday at the beginning of the month. After all, she is my first born; everything about her birthday should be special...every year. Guilt because it's so hard to watch my best friend's daughter grow up and hit every milestone at the same general time my daughter should be hitting them. Guilt because she has every right to show her daughter off to the world, yet sometimes those pictures are the last thing I want to see. Guilt every time I post photos of my brand new daughter on FB for the world to see, hoping that a new BLM acquaintance won't see them; her son's due date was three days after my daughter was born, and I feel like everything I post is like dumping salt in her wounds. Guilt because each tear I shed for what I have lost is a moment taken away from quality time with my two living girls. Guilt for not feeling more grateful for all that I have with every single breath that I take.
Some day, perhaps, I will be able to perfectly balance the grief with everything else in my life.