Friday, June 15, 2018

10 years

10 years. A decade. That is more than half my marriage. 10 years ago was Father's Day. It was also the day we turned off Camille's machines and let her go home to her Father. I mostly just like to pretend this day doesn't exist each year. Like if I could take a sharpie to the calendar I would just knock June 13 and 15 off the calendar. I'd prefer these days didn't exist. But year 10 has been unexpectedly emotional in ways no other year has. Her birthday was so weepy for me. This day I am just reflective on the accomplishment it has been to live the last 10 years with any degree of normalcy.

I have to say that second to the healing power of the Atonement, the greatest help to me in getting through the last 10 years has been the unfailing, unwavering, unconditional love of my husband Jonathan Waite. This Father's Day I honor him as a father because not only is he great with his kids but he has done the greatest service for them by loving me, building me up, and walking with me these last 10 years. 

Losing a child, especially in an accidental manner like we did, can reek havoc on a marriage. And while our marriage is not perfect and we still work through things, losing Camille has never been a wedge between us. There has never been any blame or any of that. We may not experience grief the same but we allow space for each others grief in our relationship. I am endlessly thankful for that space and understanding from Jonathan.

And to my angel girl--well on this day I guess I will just say 10 down maybe 40-50 more to go. Maybe that sounds awful. But to me it sounds hopeful. Kinda like when I am running and I tell myself I am 1/5 of the way done. Doesn't mean I have to hate every minute of the rest of the 4/5s but I am always looking forward to the finish line. And in the expanse of grief as a young bereaved mother - being 1/5 of the way done feels like I am finally getting somewhere.

So here is to the 10 year mark.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

On the Eve of Your 11th Birthday Angel Girl

Dear Camille,

Tomorrow is your birthday. Eleven years ago tomorrow I had my visiting teacher drop me off at the hospital to end a very painful pregnancy and begin the sweet experience of being your mother. You lived your short life to the fullest, always wanting to be around and interact with people. You demanded the attention you needed as a 4th daughter and I thank you for that. I can't tell you what a joy it was to spend those 14 months mothering you here on this earth.

As my 10th year of missing you draws to an end, I find myself feeling at more of loss on how to celebrate your birthday. Every other year I have invited others to join me in celebrating your life with random acts of kindness. Somehow this year I don't want to be so public in my celebration. I am touched when people remember you and celebrate your life on their own. I love to hear how they do. But I don't want to ask them to anymore.

Somehow this feels like entering a new phase of grief, this 10 year mark we are approaching. It is easier in so many ways. In some ways it feels like another person who lived that nightmare of losing you. I am no longer a young mother with babies at home all day. I don't change diapers or get spit up on anymore. I am in a new phase of motherhood.

And yet in some ways, this new phase just is hard. It is lonely. I am the only person who still thinks of you everyday. And while most of the time it is so much easier having the last 10 years behind me, there are moments... There are moments when I can feel your little legs straddling my hip and hear your cry and see your face in my mind and the wave hits me out of no where like a tsunami - so unexpected and totally devastates me all over again. Yes, 10 has been a rough year.

I miss you.

Tomorrow, I will dry my eyes and I will celebrate your life. I will eat cupcakes and we will heat the pool and go swimming because I know you would have loved that. I will do acts of kindness in your honor and hopefully your siblings can be kind to each other and to me and I will be kind to them regardless. I will think of you as I have every day the last 11 years. And I will continue to carry your heart in my heart.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
E.E. Cummings

I Love You - Mama