Today was your due date, a date that, while it did not mark your birth, is one that I will always associate with you. I repeated this date over and over during the months that I carried you, to friends, family and strangers alike. They would ask, "when are you due?" and I would smile and tell them this date and inevitably there was always some small talk about timing and the fact that I was having you at the very end of the summer.
A year ago, life was still "normal". We waited in hopeful anticipation of your arrival, and looked forward to counting your fingers and toes. We sat up at night debating your sex, what names to choose (you were nearly a Finnian or Scarlet), and it was this week last year that we finally set up your nursery. We never could have imagined, a year later, that this house would still only be home to the two of us, or that the room that signified so much hope and happiness, would become a neglected reminder of all that we have lost with you. It is so hard baby girl, knowing what never can be with you. We had hoped for so much for you, you deserved so much more than this world and life offered. None of this will ever make sense to me.
Today Daddy and I spent the day with you on our minds. We went to church, and I tried my best to think of your life and doing something to honor it, rather than flashing back to images of your funeral in that very place. After church Daddy and I came home for a bit, then went to get our hair cut. Our friend was doing a cut-a-thon for charity, and I took this as the boost I needed to take care of my neglected appearance. This was my first hair cut since a few weeks prior to your birth. I think of that, and realize just how backwards my priorities were then. I went to the salon to get my hair cut so that I would look nice in the pictures of us together. The idea of that happy moment not arriving never even crossed my mind. I took for granted that you would be born healthy, that I would have you in my arms in those pictures, and the moment would be a beautiful one full of smiles. I feel so foolish when I think of that now, of how I could have wasted any energy at all on my appearance, when I should have been focusing on every second you were with me. Forgive me baby girl, I had no idea how little time we would have together.
After our haircut we went to visit you at the cemetery. Could you feel us there? There are some days that I swear, I feel so connected to you. Today I hoped for that feeling on our visit, but it didn't come. I miss you so very much, and losing that feeling of connection hurts more than I can write here.
So much has changed since we expected your arrival, so many of the people we love most are welcoming more children into their lives, and we sit still. It is in realizing the changes in the lives of others that the reality of this last year hits, of the way the world still turns even when it feels like it stopped when you left.
These next two weeks leading up to your birthday are the last two weeks where I can say "at this time last year, life was normal." I don't know what these upcoming dates are going to bring for us emotionally, just that it's time for me to realize that there is no more "normal." That life. That innocense. They're never coming back. There is no more "normal" to return to, only life after losing you. Please baby girl, help us to find peace with the loss of what once was, and to find hope in what still may be.
Missing you today and always,