Special in that it marks five years that my heart has beat for my sweet little Peyton, loving her as I do even though she is not here. Difficult in that this year should have held such a magical milestone.
Grief is so strange. There are so many firsts we never had with Peyton. No first steps. No first words, or even first tantrums. No first rides on a bike, or first "I love you Mommy," moments, though her heart beating against my chest when I held her told me she did.
There were so many firsts that should have been with Peyton that at some point in my grief I almost, *almost, became numb to them. I think that's what so-called healing is, your mind and body deciding to either numb-up, or give up.
I posted this photo on Facebook today, with the following message:
In another life on the other side of the loss universe, I gave you a hug and sent you off to Kindergarten this week.
I imagine that had she been born healthy, I would have had so much trepedation and so many nerves about leaving my child in the care of someone else for the first time. The reality is that from the moment of her birth, to the moment of her death, Peyton was always in the care of someone else, down to my inability to even make decisions over when to feed or bathe her.
If Peyton were here, and healthy, this would be the moment in time for me to watch as my little girl became a big girl, and root her on as she walked off independent of me, into a new experience. Because of the cards we were dealt, that moment came in the pediatric intensive care unit as I urged her to please let go and be free of the pain of this broken world, when she took her last breath in my arms and was finally, finally, pain-free and at peace.
Even five years later, you never get over a moment like that. I imagine that in fifty years, I still won't.
I received so many beautiful messages from friends, but one response to my facebook post by a dear babyloss momma friend especially resonated with me:
Perhaps in that other life somewhere our little ones enter kindergarten together, holding hands and filling the room with joy.
So tonight I am holding tight to the beauty of that image, to the thought of all of the precious and much loved little ones from this community holding hands as they walk into their first day in kindergarten, and all the while I am hoping that wherever Peyton is, she knows how very, very loved she is by those of us left behind.