Yesterday was my birthday. It was a pretty amazing day. I did some gardening. I got a workout in. I went to our camp on Chazy Lake and went out on the lake with our paddle board. We ate great food. My family sang to me and I felt all the love and I knew how special I am to them in those moments. Ended the night with a fire by the lake before heading home to bed.
It was fantastic.
Out of the blue came the overwhelming sadness and yearning for one more moment with my sweet baby Grace. Remembering her tiny little toes and sweet button nose. Hearing her cry as they pulled her from me. Remembering how it was so important to me that our friends and family all had a chance to hold her and feel her reality.
I was driving home after dropping the girls off at dance camp and I was remembering June 2008 and on my birthday or at lease a day or two around that birthday. That day in June I bought my first baby necessities. I remembering being nervous as I purchased them and thinking that it might not be a good idea. I was leaving the first trimester and heading in full steam into trimester number 2.
I bought white onesies and a Winnie the Pooh baby blanket. I still have it. I did wrap her in it on that cold day in December 2008. I ran through the emotions and thoughts I had that late June 2008. As I drove, I felt all the sadness of losing her as if it was happening in real time.
Simple little memories can bring you to your knees.
I held the pain in my heart and let the tears wash over my face. These moments keep me close and connected to my Sweet Grace.
As time passes, I notice I can get numb. It scares me that I can get too comfortable with the idea that I lost her. Is that even possible to get “too comfortable” with the lost of a baby. I don’t want to be healed too much. The pain of her loss some how keeps her real in my soul.
I guess the point of this whole entry is to say that even though I was flooded with all this sadness on my birthday that was a fantastic day… I felt connected to my daughter and remembering those moments that define her short life. She came to me on my day and her reality was there in my heart to hold and cherish.
After we left camp the sky last night was so gorgeous. I chased a view of it in to St. Bernard’s Cemetery. The girls and I jumped out at Grace’s grave for a quick hello. She is there in my Grandmother’s arms and less than a third of a mile away from me. It is so very comforting to know that she is there in her arms. She is likely with my other grandparents and listening to Grandmother May sing a little Irish ditty. I can see her in my Uncle Chris’ arms with a huge smile and giggling at his goof nature.
We pulled into the drive way and I asked the girls for a moment alone. Julia asked me why and instead of filtering the answer. I told her I was a little sad about Grace and wanted to gather myself. Julia started crying and she is so very mad that she didn’t get to meet her and it is not fair that I did. Then in the same breath she gathered her self and told me, “Grace is always with her because she is in her heart.”
What a way to end the day. My sweet eight year old reminding me that Grace is always with me, held close in my heart. It will not eliminate those moments of overwhelming sadness. It just helps to remember this and continue the healing journey to JOY.
Thank you to my wonderful parents, my sister, my nephew, and of course my beautiful girls Annie and Julia. AND my husband, Keith, that supports and love me without question.
Chazy Lake birthdays are the best birthdays. June 2021.
(Published June 30th, 2021)