Sunday, January 1, 2017
Thursday, January 1, 2015
And my heart broke.
Julia would have been in first grade. She would have had a favorite color, and movie, and hobby. She would be into princesses or not. She would probably know how to swim and ride a bike and tie her shoes. And yes, she would definitely have a strong opinion on her favorite kind of cake.
Seven birthdays missed. Seven years of life going on without her. Seven years of remembering her and it never being enough.
Seven years of indescribable joy. An amazing life that we don't take for granted.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful baby girl.
You are missed. You are loved. You are not forgotten.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Sunday, January 1, 2012
I remember that I was scared going into the room. I wasn’t scared, I don't think, of her, but I do remember being terrified of looking into the bassinet. It was like being in a horror movie, coming slowly around the corner, like a camera shot. I slowly saw her face from the top down, and she looked just so close to being alive. Like the right burst of breath into her lungs might just start her up again. I didn’t want to touch her, but Elizabeth asked me if I wanted to, and I knew I had to. There was a lot during those first days that I “had” to do, it was the only way to get them done. So she picked her up and then handed her to me. I remember that she was still warm, or maybe I only remember her in relation to a few days later, when I held her on the day of her funeral. But it quickly became easy to talk to her.
I remember the moment they put Ruby down in that little bassinet in the operating room, the same room Isabelle was delivered in, next to the one Julia was born in, that Ruby looked JUST like Julia. Same hair, same button nose, same tiny face. I wonder if my family would have children in the same order as my parents – dark complex, light complex, and so on. That would make me Julia. If this had happened to my mom, I would have died, and no life, no memories, no life with Cam, no Isabelle, no Ruby. What other lives were stamped out when Julia died? How many lives were changed forever for the worse, never even knowing what they were missing?
You would have been 4 years old tomorrow. Four years of smiles, holidays, milestones, and birthdays that we never had. Four years in which we have welcomed 2 more wonderful little girls into our family. Four years in which we have had so much joy and so much sorrow.
Your grandpa died this year. My heart now aches for two people. I barely got to know you, so my sorrow with you is with all the experiences I didn't get to have. The sorrow with grandpa dying is that he does not get to see his 2 beautiful granddaughters grow up. Two lives that ended too soon. Feeling sorry for both the ones left living and the ones gone. How many times have I cuddled with Ruby or Isabelle and felt your absence? Hoped that you were looking down on us, but also hoping that you would understand why we could not give you all the love and attention that you deserved? Hoping that you would understand why the focus of our attention has shifted.
The death of my child and my father. You cannot help comparing them. The grief I felt over you- so raw and intense at first and then settling into a dull aching pain. The grief over your grandpa- a relief at first and now settling into the horrible reality of what I lost. The feeling of disbelief. The numerous times I have picked up my phone to dial him to chat before I remembered. My inability to erase his number and name from my phone.
I wear my necklace with three charms on it- one for each of my girls. Isabelle likes to finger them and say, "J for Julia, R for Ruby, and I for me." She know all about her big sister, and loves to look at your pictures and play with your music box. I watch her being such a good big sister to Ruby and think about how you would have been with her. But then again, if you were here then she most likely would not be. The "what if" game is so hard to play...
So on the eve of your birthday, I just want you to know that you are loved. You are missed.
In my dreams I picture that you and grandpa have found each other, and that is what gets me through the tough days.
Happy Birthday Baby Girl.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
The hardest part of this anniversary was not remembering her death. It was not thinking about the beautiful little girl she would be today- I think about that every day. It was remembering the time before everything went wrong. It was remembering the way I felt before she died.
A close friend of ours videotaped Josh and I when I was 9 months pregnant with Julia. Up until yesterday, we had never watched that footage. Last night, we put Isabelle to bed and curled up on the couch to watch. There were bittersweet moments, but it turned out to be the perfect way to end the evening. The video was over an hour long, and Josh and I just watched in awe.
It made me happy to recognize the two people in that video- because right after Julia's death I didn't know whether I would ever be "me" again. I remember sitting on the couch a few days after she died, staring at the screen saver on our computer. It was a picture of Josh and I, smiling at our 30th birthday party. I made someone turn it off, because it hurt too much to look at myself being happy.
It's now two years later and I feel like myself again. Part of this is due to time, and part of it is because of Isabelle. Josh looked at me tonight and said, "I have to admit that this is easier now that we have a baby." Maybe we should feel guilty for thinking like this, but we can't help the way we feel.
Even though it is only the second anniversary of her death, I feel like Josh and I have already established what this day will be like. We spend it as a family, and while we appreciate the phone calls and emails, we do not answer the phone. It is a day for us, and somehow it doesn't seem right to let anyone else in...we can do that tomorrow.
In my walk last night I stopped by the drugstore and bought a birthday card and a candle in the shape of the number two. Tonight Josh stopped at the bakery and bought a tiny cake that simply says, "Julia." We will light the candle and celebrate her birthday in our own way.