June 3

I am fully aware of my desperate attempts to forget. I don’t want to think about the horribleness of where we were 7 long years ago. I don’t want to think about her vital signs monitor that we’d so hopefully stared at for 15 sleepless days and nights — now dark. Turned off. I don’t want to think about how she rubbed her arm across her itchy little nose one last time. Or the sound of her last breath while a lullaby rendition of a Journey song tinkled softly in the background. I don’t want to remember hospital smells. I don’t want to think about any of it – yet it is inescapable. No amount of staring mindlessly at my phone, or cleaning and organizing and straightening things will make it go away. Each year I brace myself, try to somehow make it more “comfortable” and never can. A lot like labor pains. Ain’t NUTHIN you can do to make those come on a little easier or gentler. And sometimes you say mean things, and you can’t think straight. It’s hard to think or care about anything or anyone else because F*#K!!!!!! This. Hurts. There is absolutely nothing to do but weather through each grief contraction. And they’re very strong this time of year.

Just as in childbirth, each “contraction” is one step closer to holding that baby in my arms. I know with every fiber of my being and all of the love and hope in my heart that I will see and hold Nora again. God has given me glimpses and hints of what that will be like through the physical births of each of my four children, and then especially through the euphoric reunion with my birth daughter 10 whole years ago. THAT, amplified. We will ALL experience that someday with the ones we’ve loved and lost. Breathe through the pain, stay focused. No, it’s not so easy – but I try.

Today in memory of Nora, I donated blood, which I do regularly. I will be forever grateful for the blood donor who gave us some extra time with our sweet Lade. I also visited the cemetery. I cleaned off her pretty headstone and played her favorite song on her hipster baby music box.

“Happy Birthday” on the day you were born in to heaven, my sweet baby girl. My heart aches for you. Lots of hearts ache for you. You profoundly touched so many lives, and continue to do so many years after you’ve left us. What a legacy you’ve left behind. I breathe through and endure the pain of your loss. I know it will all be worth it someday. Thank you for being such a special part of our family, always and forever, sweet Stinky Cakes. Mommy loves you.

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