some days i still catch myself getting lost in grief.
i'll see a picture of Lily smiling in july 2010. it's a crazy, open, laughing smile. a smile that doesnt know real sadness. a smile that knows no loss. i can date most pictures by looking at them. our faces have changed. everything has changed.
just a picture pre-august 2010 can still send me reeling. it will place me right back in the er, staring helplessly back and forth at arnie and at Lily who was standing near the end of my bed.
but that's not why i'm writing this.
i'm writing this because every day, i find something new to be thankful for. Amelia wouldnt be here if i hadnt went through that storm of grief. i simply wouldnt have her.
i truly believe that Amelia was sent directly from heaven above to me. she is my clown. she makes me laugh nonstop. it doesnt matter what kind of day i have, she can put a smile on my lips and laughter in my lungs. i dont think she even tries, she's just naturally a total character. she's made funny faces since the day she was born. now she poses, dances, yells, talks, and sings to me.
when i get upset and raise my voice, Amelia is the first one to make me laugh before i can get mad. she'll follow me around and mimic everything i do, making me laugh and realize- i'm ridiculous when i'm mad...and by the way, dont we all feel better when we laugh?
she's a total ball of energy that can wear you down quickly, but i tell you, however relieved i am that she's taking a nap, minutes into it, i find myself missing her and watching a clock for the time for her to wake up.
she's started walking much more now. she loves walking towards me and at the very last minute spinning around and walking away- chuckling at my fake dismay. she'll smile knowingly when she knows she's about to make me laugh. for a 18 month old, she's wise beyond her year(s).
and Cain...my little man. he is so very special. Cain has hugged me and clung to me since day one. even as he sleeps, he reaches for my finger, my hand, my arm..something to hold. he will often raise his eyebrows at me, as if even at his young age, he cannot believe what a total sap his mommy is. he giggles when i kiss his cheeks. he steals my heart daily. i find myself marveling at the man he will become. i whisper to him to never change his sweetness, and if he must, to simply become sweeter.
and if you know me, you might be wondering where Lily is in all this. well, Lily put this all back in perspective for me one day when i was feeling sad. it was as if she had read my mind. she was playing with Amelia and just said- out of the blue- that while losing the baby made her sad, she was thankful because now we have Amelia..and we wouldnt have her at all if we hadnt gone through that.
so the point isnt that we've gone through dark days, the point is we MADE it through together and we're stronger and so much more thankful for everything.
Baby smiles, baby giggles, and holding hands are things that i live for.
so hug your children. hug them until they tell you to stop. dont ever look back and wish you'd hugged more. be thankful for every moment and on bad days, make a list of things that make you smile.
there are some nights when i am beat down tired...the day has been hard, nothing went right, and i know sleep cant come soon enough...
but instead, i stand still, silent, and i listen to the sound of sleeping babies. Cain, who chuckles and belly laughs in his sleep and Amelia who snores like an old man, and sometimes talks. i stand and i marvel at the gifts God has blessed me with.
i cannot hold onto anger, sadness, or frustration from the day or from the past when i take in these moments for what they truly are:
gifts from God.