Photo 24

To lead a better life I need my love to be here…

I used to sing that Beatles song to you when you were in the NICU. Not being able to spend every moment with you when you were so fragile and new was unimaginably difficult. I wanted you to be with me, always, and that will never change.

This is the second April 7th, two years since I last touched you, and honestly Maddie, it’s so much harder. Everyone told me the first year was going to be hard. And it was, dealing with all the “firsts” without you. But no one told me how hard the second year would be. I still wake up every day hoping it’s been a dream, hoping that you’re not gone. Instead, each day takes me further away from you. Each morning is a punch in the gut.

I’m starting to worry that I might forget intangibles. The things I can’t use words to illustrate – exactly how your voice sounded. The way you sat on my hip. The gentle way you’d touch my face. How you felt in my arms.

A couple months ago I changed the color of my hair. I didn’t tell anyone this, because I felt silly, but I almost didn’t do it because I was afraid you wouldn’t recognize me with different hair. You always knew me as having dark hair. I didn’t want to change how you knew me. I know it doesn’t make sense. But really, very little makes sense to me.

Annie is walking now, like a drunk little crazy person. You would spend so much time laughing at her and with her, with us. The other day she saw a little girl who was about two and a half or three, and she was rapt. Seeing how she worships older girls shows me how she would have idolized you, followed you around, and probably annoyed you like a proper little sister. I don’t hold any notions that you would have been especially patient with her, but I do know you would have been an amazing big sister, just as you are an amazing daughter.

I am always going to be haunted by those last few days, always second-guess myself, wonder what could have been done differently. I close my eyes and I’m back in that PICU, the one that seemed so big until it was crammed full of doctors and nurses. It’s a constant fight for me to push those images aside, but on this day, I refuse to let myself “go there.” I need to remember you as you were, and imagine you as you should have been.

So today, when I close my eyes, I’ll picture you leading a parade, with Annie and Rigby close behind and your daddy and me bringing up the rear.

I'm blowing this joint

I love you forever, and ever, and ever.

…love never dies…

Here, there, and everywhere
here, there and everywhere.