Happy birthday. Happy birthday? I'm not quite sure on the punctuation this year. Last year was the worst birthday of my life, 3 months out from Camille's death. This year I was so sure I would have a fantastic birthday, I wanted to celebrate, there is so much to celebrate. I have found that I am bound and determined to be happy. But... Sometimes intentions are high jacked by feelings. I woke this morning irritable and on edge. I dropped Kai off at school and almost cried as I drove down the street. Because regardless of intentions and reasons to celebrate and the beautiful family I have, it is supposed to be different. That is what I kept saying last year: it's just supposed to be different. It's hard for me to say that and write that while Harlow lays in my lap. I love her with my whole heart. But my heart is still broken.
Nobody asks me how I'm doing anymore. I guess everything is supposed to be better. Things are better. I've survived the first year of my daughter being dead. I've survived a subsequent pregnancy, I've grown a bigger heart. I am still sad. That just doesn't go away. It sits there like a wicked thorn in the side of my happiness.
I am more happy than sad.
36 is better than 35.
My 35th year was a bitch and I'm happy to say goodbye to that year.
I look ancient. Grief grabbed my face and gnawed on it. I'm skeptical plastic surgery could do anything to help with that. The damage is the inside out version. Your face sometimes reveals the status of your soul.
I didn't just drop off the planet when Harlow was born. She got sick 2 weeks after she was born. Just a cold. But you can bet I've lived at the pediatricians office. Than Kai got sick and than me and than my mom. Snot does not = dead baby, but the crazy in my head from crashing hormones, worry and carry over anxiety makes for sleepless nights and constant bedside vigilance. I've read some blogs and intermittently commented. I posted on FB about Harlow's birth which was a big step for me. We got Harlow's newborn photos taken. If you would like to see them they will be up for another week or so: Derksen photography, go to proofs, find Harlow, type password ralston.
My intention after Harlow was born was to have a meet and greet/ sip and see. It hasn't happened...yet. D's school threw him a baby shower and signed us up for the PTC (Parent teacher club) sunshine committee meals. These people we don't know literally showered us with gifts. It was so incredibly kind. But I'm also not blind to the fact that there was this outpouring because Camille died. I guarantee you that Daryl didn't go around telling people about his dead daughter but the word spreads quickly amongst teachers especially at an elementary school. So we graciously accepted the kindness that was given and we went from having hardly anything for Harlow, save for a couple outfits I had purchased on a brave day, to swimming in a sea of pink. I've spent a lot of time writing thank you cards but the ones I need to get to the most are for the nurses who helped me in the hospital. I don't want their kindness to be left unacknowledged. I never finished Harlow's quilt. I had to go to the hospital unexpectedly. Not having it done before I went to give birth REALLY freaked me out. And so it sits with only a couple things left to do on it. These projects that I feel I must complete pile up as I sit and type or do laundry or sit and gently stroke my daughter's head and limbs.
Well vomit and baths for the baby and me interrupted the flow of this post...
I cried today, I am thankful today. I hear the wind chimes my friend gave me for Camille's birthday and it is soothing. I have so much to say. I will not stay away too long.