We decided to get out of town during what was supposed to be Wylie's birthday week. I decided that the best thing to combat immense sadness is great joy, and what greater joy is there than the happiness of your children? We decided to spend this week away up in the middle of nowhere at my family's lake house, surrounded by wilderness and wildlife and quiet and nothingness. Just each other and the the security of Ethan's smiles to hold us together when it feels like we may be cracking. We're going to be spending this week at the theme parks letting Ethan take it all in, all of the happiness and excitement, all of the magic. August 23rd, 2014 has been a clear indicator that we are due for some magic and as Ethan has been going to sleep each night with his toy plastic Mickey Mouse clutched tightly in his fist, I know we are on the right path for some comfort and healing that only Ethan's laughter can give us.
I had assumed I would have some grand reflections to recount on August 23rd, 2014 but the truth is I have none. My mind has been rather blank and my body feels numb. Today is the day that my daughter should have been born, the day she was supposed to be born and, instead, today is the day that puts emphasis on how much that isn't going to happen. It's the day that shouts "it's over!" where there should have been cries of "it's a girl!" It's the day that feels nearly as hard to trudge through as her actual birthday was, only this time I don't even get to hold her close. Only this time I get to hike a mile to a rural market with Ethan in the Boba on my back, selecting cucumbers and a chocolate donut for good measure and letting the sweat drip from our faces underneath the blazing August sun like it's just your average hot, Florida summer day. Only this time I get to glance at the clock, see the time and ask everyone what they want for dinner. And suddenly everything feels the same and different and normal and yet like nothing will ever be normal again.
People are always telling you how short life is every chance they get and sometimes I'm not entirely sure even they really understand just how short it can be. Maybe no one can really understand how short life can be until they have to face that fact head on.
Wylie's life was short. I am grateful for every moment I had with her. I am better for having known her, for having loved her. August 23rd, 2014 makes me realize how short life is, and also how long. How long a lifetime can be without ever getting to hold her close again. I want to celebrate her short life every day because it is worth celebrating. I am trying to make August 23rd, 2014 the day that I let go of all of the anger with the world on why her heart had to be broken and everything was robbed from her. I'm trying to let go of the why her? questions that keep me up at night or that run through my mind as I pass her locked bedroom door. I'm trying to just remember her, my curly-haired little girl, and realize how lucky I am to have had her here for even the short period of time that I got to. Every short moment of her life is worth celebrating for every moment of mine.
August 23rd, 2014 was once a day that made me squeal with nervous excitement as my doctor told me it would be my c-section day. August 23rd will always be her day in my heart. Why that gets to be as good as it gets -- that will be something I'll be asking myself for as long as I live, which is as long as I'll be loving her.