June 13 today. Three years ago I enjoyed the last morning and early afternoon I would have with all four of my little girls. I remember Camille waking up unconsolably sad. She kept crying and screaming and it seemed nothing I did would soothe her. This was atypical for her. It worried me. I wondered if she might be in pain or sick.
Finally in desperation I gave her a sugar cookie with pink frosting. It was not the best breakfast in the world, I admit, but it made her happy. I was glad to have found something that would stop her worrisome cry. The rest of the day she was her normal self.
Later that morning she snuck into the pantry and climbed the step stool. She called and called for me. I finally got a minute to stick my head in and see what she was up to. She was so proud of herself. She looked at me with her big smile and stamped her foot down on the top step where she stood. I called to Jonathan. He came over to see. I said "that is our little girl right there Jonathan." She was so delighted to have us there noticing her big accomplishment.
I made homemade macaroni and cheese for the kids. She loved it. I put her in her high chair to eat some while I went to chase Lauren down to change her stinky diaper.
Minutes later my whole world came crashing down and my life and my family changed forever.
Three years later, I am so grateful that it is three years later. I am so grateful that I am not hurting as badly as I was three years ago. Does it still hurt? Yes. yes. But it is not the searing debilitating pain that it was three years ago.
I am so grateful for the joyful ways my life has changed in the past three years. I am grateful for my two sons who have been added to my family. I am grateful for the wonderful ways my girls have grown and developed as people. I am so very grateful for the deeper, richer, and even more purposeful relationship I have with my husband. There is not doubt to either of us that we are stronger as a couple now because of this trial.
I am grateful for the acute appreciation losing Camille has given me for each of my children. I truly do appreciate them every minute. Even when Noble is tired and on a path of destruction through the house or the older girls are being disobedient or fighting or sick or otherwise being naughty. Even when I am up at night with Harrison so many times I have lost count or I am being thrown up on, yelled at, hit, or pooped on. Even in those less than lovely moments of motherhood, I appreciate and value and thank God for my children and that I am privileged to be their mother.
I have been riding waves of emotion this weekend. My heart is feeling the high tide of the season. I haven't yet had a big cry but I have felt one building. It is like those days when you can feel the storm in the air but no rain has fallen yet. I will let it come when it does. It will come and it will go and I will move forward into yet another year in my life as an angel's mother.