Wonder Years

It’s been six years.

Six years. You’d think the sting of the day would have settled by now. The heartache, the brokenness I feel, would have melted away into some kind of memory that takes a little more time to recall, a little more time to conjure up the images of a hospital bed, a beeping monitor, a quiet ultrasound machine. But it actually doesn’t take much at all.

A kindergartner walking into her classroom for the first time.

A blond haired baby girl, full of curls and wonder.

A pink, polka dot blanket.

My son’s bright blue eyes.

Anything can spark a memory. And I know I am not alone in this.

Anyone who has suffered at the hands of grief knows this to be true. Anyone who has watched another being, one they love and admire, slip slowly away from them, has had to push through days, and weeks, and months like this.

For a long time I wondered when these days, and weeks, and months, and now years would slowly slip from my conscious mind, but the truth is it never will. This grief, this loss, this love, this is life. And life, as we all know by now, can be fucking harsh.

Today snuck up on me. Like it has for the last couple of years. I am busy now, not too much time to sit around and wonder anymore about how things could have been. Then a text message from my best friend snapped me back into this world late last night. “Thinking of you both and your angel baby” with a purple heart. I wasn’t sure how to respond, as I never really am. But there it was. In words again. And memories.

Today I will try to think of the good things. Not focus on the bad. Today I will try to appreciate what and whom I do have in front of me. Today I will celebrate a life that never came to be, but one that taught me immeasurable things about love, death, and my own strength.

August 25th is never a “normal” day for my family. And it never will be. But that is okay. We are okay. We still have the love, the warmth, and the smiles she gave us to keep the grief at bay.

May you be blessed to celebrate and appreciate all of life today. May you do it in honor of those you have lost. May you look at the world with fresh eyes and a sense of wonder, if even for a little while.

We love and miss you everyday, Lydia Elizabeth.

M.