I’ve been sitting here for a while, staring at the screen, not sure what to say. Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and it was great and complicated and sad.
I woke up in bed to Annabel looking up at the ceiling quietly. I stared at her for a while, then alternated my gaze between her and the pictures of Madeline on the dresser next to the bed. I pulled Annabel into me and braced for the day.
My mom, cousin, and I had a great morning, treating ourselves to pampering hair appointments and new makeup. We brought Annabel along, and I hoped that no one would ask me if she was my only child. I didn’t want to go into it, not on Mother’s Day. Luckily, no one asked.
We met the rest of our family for a nice lunch, and everyone cooed over Annie. I tried hard to focus on the lunch, on my family that was there, and not get lost in who wasn’t.
After lunch, my mom, cousin, Annie, and I took a picture together.
I realized later I don’t have a picture of my mom, cousin, and me with Madeline.
I spent the rest of the day with Annie, enjoying her, making her laugh.
And now, she sleeps, Mike sleeps, and my house is quiet. Now I am finally letting myself feel the missing piece, my missing girl. I am physically in pain. I feel like my stomach just was punched, like something is lodged in my throat. I can’t breathe and I feel sick. My Maddie would be two and a half years old. Mike would have walked her through signing a card. She would have “helped” him make me breakfast in bed. But most of all, she would be a completely different little person than the one I remember. And that’s what hurts the most.
And now I will let myself cry.