I can feel myself sinking a bit. I was almost anticipating it – the unending lethargy, tearing up over ridiculous things (I seriously burst into tears because Mike ate my leftovers), and the grip on my chest that tightens when I least expect it.

Today is the last day of a five day vacation to Arizona for Spring Training baseball. Once we got the all-clear to bring Annie, I felt like I would be able to really relax and enjoy myself. And I have enjoyed myself, truly. Annie has been a riot on this trip, playing with her cousins, trying new foods, and exploring new places. But the night before we left for Scottsdale, I had the first panic attack I’d had in MONTHS…and I’ve had one every day since.

Just writing about this, I can feel my panic rising, my chest filling with lumps, my throat constricting. We are staying with Mike’s family in the same resort they’ve stayed at for the last twenty years. The last time we were here was two years ago, with Maddie. Our hotel room this time is laid out exactly like the one we had two years ago. This isn’t the kind of resort where the rooms are similar…but somehow, I knew this would happen.

Both girls made a beeline to the exact same spot.



It’s impossible to be here and not imagine what it would be like if Maddie was here, too. Of course, I wonder that every day. It’s lovely to see the cousins playing. The older boys dote on Annie – especially my nephew Spencer, who Maddie thought hung the moon.

I think Annie thinks he’s a goof

In three weeks it will be two years since my Maddie died. It hurts just as much. My body aches, I can’t breathe. My heart is squeezed. It hurts to breathe. Every day I get up and am the best mommy to Annabel. But I am feeling the need to mother Maddie more than ever. I need rest. I need the attacks to stop, the depression to go away.

I don’t think they ever will.