Monday, 29 September 2014

Hope's 3rd Birthday

3:17pm, 29th September, 2011 a nurse put Hope's tiny body into my arms and I caught a glimpse of Heaven. That day was one the best and worst of my life. I saw the beauty of what life could be, and I felt my heart break as I watched it slip away. It was so traumatic that there are still patches that are fuzzy or blank. But when it comes to my baby girl, my tiny, perfect, treasured daughter...I remember everything. The warmth of her skin, the feel of her tiny hands on my chest, the way her feet fit so neatly in the palm of my hand, marvelling at her sweet face...willing so hard for her to open her eyes, for her hand to wrap around my finger, to feel her breathe, to keep her warm as her skin began to get cold. Breathe, baby girl, breathe. I'm so sorry, I tried, darling, I tried. I love you so much, so so much... 

On the 29th of September, 2012, I wrote her name in the sand at Sumner in Christchurch. I felt so much love for my baby, and felt her near to me as I remembered her, talked about her, wrote her name in the sand and cuddled her pink teddy bear. The day was gentle on my heart, and I was able to smile and feel so proud and happy to be her mama.

 Fast-forward a year, 29th September 2013, things had changed again. My best friend had become my partner, I was facing different challenges with my health, and I couldn't stop thinking about the things my heart needed to know; like what colour her eyes would have been, would her hair be curly or straight, would she have been a redhead like her nana? My heart felt heavy with another years worth of milestones I had missed with her. I went to another beach and write her name in the sand. I sat with her teddy and remembered how her tiny body fit so perfectly in my hands. I remembered, I wondered, I celebrated, I cried and I wished things could be different.

 29th September, 2014. Hope would have turned 3 years old today. My fiance and I had a picnic with pink cupcakes down by the lake. The weather was forecast as rainy and horrible, which was such a disappointment , but when we looked out the window it was brilliant blue skies! For weeks, I had been going through what I wanted to do for her birthday and imagined how lovely it would be down beside the lake. And it was. Ducks, Pukekoes, Sparrows, all enjoying the warmth of the Spring sun. It was windy, really windy, which meant my attempt at writing Hope in daisies failed, which led to frustrated-wind-hating tears. Of course, I wasn't really crying over the daisies. I missed my girl, and I was frustrated that I'm writing her name in different ways just to see it again, instead of calling her name and having her with me. They were missing-my-girl tears. Cuddled up feeding the sparrows the remains of a cupcake that had suffered at the hands of the wind, I imagined how things would be different.

 Today, another year has passed. Another years worth of smiles, sloppy kisses, late nights, early mornings and 1000 other things I miss without her here. Today was different. Today, she felt further away than ever. Maybe it's the number that's getting me- three years. THREE. How can it be that long since I held her? Today, I missed her. Today, I mourned her. Today, I felt the weight of all the birthdays to come. Today, I don't know if I can face having to do this every year for the rest of my life. Today, I just want my baby girl back.

 In three years, Hope has inspired me to be a better person. A more patient person, a more loving person, a more grateful person. At least, I would like to think so. It's not everyday, though. There are still more days than I would like to admit that I would rather curl up under the covers and hide from the world than go outside. Or eat. Or do anything but hide. I cry more than I would like, and more often than not at things that I wouldn't have cried at before. Little things get to me, insignificant things can leave me sobbing. I don't know how long it will be until this passes. Maybe it will never pass. Perhaps, I'll just learn to live with it.

 Today as I sat beside the lake, I thought about how amazing things are right now. I am less than a fortnight away from being a wife to the most wonderful man I have ever met. We are starting our life together in a beautiful city, in one of the most incredible places in the world. I am so thankful for my life, and the people in it. I am living the life I want, a life I could barely dream of. I guess that's something else I need to learn, though. That it's ok to be happy. That's it more a tribute to my daughter's life that I live with love and thankfulness than hide away. I don't have to be sad to remember her, I don't have to mourn to keep her close to me. She is no further away if I am smiling, or weeping. And it's an honour to live a life I am proud of, to live for both of us and continue her legacy.

  My darling girl, I love you so much and wish you the happiest of birthdays. Even though I can't be with you, know I am thinking about you, loving you, celebrating you, and longing for the day when I finally get to hold you again. Until then, I will keep you in my heart. Mama loves you, sweetpea. Happy 3rd Birthday.

1 comment:

  1. the first 3 years after Rachel were HARD. I did feel a little relief a bit into year 4... can you believe that? 4? sigh. I will be praying for your heart that this year holds some of that for you too and that as you move closer to her - always with her - that she will continue to feel just as close, if not closer, when you are smiling as when you are sad. I love you ♥