It is March again. I can hardly believe it. Two years ago, I was so excited for March. Couldn't wait for it. I was going to meet my baby girl in March, I couldn't wait. Now March comes and I don't know what to think or feel. She is woven into the changing of the seasons.. When the days begin to be just a bit warmer and spring is so close you can almost taste it, I am right back to anticipating her. When Easter baskets, eggs and bunnies line the store shelves, or more painful the beautiful easter dresses and bonnets, I am right back to remembering how I stood in the store wondering how I was to pick her first Easter dress out of SO many, I loved them all, and then deciding that I'd wait until she arrived because she would be 4 weeks old at Easter and it would be easier to choose once I saw her. When the weather is suddenly so chilly after being nice, I am reminded again of how COLD it was the night she was born. Of how the whole day, I kept wondering if the small cramps I was feeling might be contractions and maybe if I went for a long walk, they would kick into full gear, but it was just so cold. It seems impossible that 2 years have passed. I cannot account for most of the last two years. I know Grace lived, and died, I had a miscarriage and gave birth to my fourth son. My children and myself and husband all aged two years, I know all of this but it just seems impossible. I feel like I have missed so much. My boys were 7, 4, and 2 when she was born. Somehow I now have a 9,6 and 4 year old. That fact makes me so sad, children grow so fast and I missed so much. And really I am not, and never will be who I used to be so I will continue to miss so much. Grief is constantly sneaking up on me and distracting me. For the next 5 months, grief isn't going to leave me alone. I'll be going along and I'll realize what day it is, and my mind will say "hey, this is the day Grace came off of ECMO" or "hey, two years ago, she was in your arms for the first time" etc etc etc. and the memories will be good, because there were so many good things. Of course many will be very sad memories of really bad days, but even the good memories fade into sadness over the fact that I will never experience another memory made with her, I will never get any of it back.
I'm still trying to learn how to live with this, truly. Honestly I'm sure most people cannot see my grief. I look like any old mother to most. I'm still trying to find my comfort level with strangers. "Oh you have (whatever number happen to be with me) boys!" or "you have all boys!" because even though she is dead, I will always always always have a daughter and to not include her, hurts me. So, I will just smile or say "Oh actually I have 4 boys and 1 girl" which is usually enough. Sometimes that 1 girl sparks an interest. "OH! How old is your girl?" and then I feel dumb for saying anything, like the crazy woman who tells strangers that her baby is dead.." Oh...she would be amost 2 but she passed away" awkward silence... "I am so sorry" and then another awkward silence. But sometimes my ugly side wants to come out, and thankfully I am pretty good about keeping it under wraps. At least to strangers.. Today at the zoo a man said to me as we walked by him " got enough kids?!" and he wasn't really rude about it, it was said with a chuckle, so I bit my tongue because my snarky side kick wanted to say "actually nope, because one of them is dead" But then I'd be the crazy lady whose baby died. I'm proud of her, I love her, I want to talk about her but I don't really want to be the crazy lady..
I do know this, that even though it is so hard to live, my life will always have been made better by having her. Even though we are still dealing with messes that stem from her life and her death and they are hard and so trying, her life will always make mine better. If given the choice, I would choose her a million times over because even though I am so much more broken than i was before her, my life is so much better for having known her. She may be dead, but she blesses me still to this day.