So today's one of those days where you don't know how to mark the passage of time. What's appropriate to honor a loved child all too soon gone?
One year has passed since having to say goodbye to our child. In a way, I'm amazed it didn't break us, and in a way, it's a relief. We made it past her original due date, and all the holidays without her, and what would have been her first birthday, and all the memories constantly coming to mind, and the frequent tears in private and in public, and we're still here. We feel as weak as all get out, but we made it through each day and we're both still here, both still together.
One year ago today, I was having an amazing morning. Although the doctors hadn't yet seen fit to discharge me, I started feeling more myself. The lethargy was still there, the dizziness, nausea, blurry vision, but my head wasn't as foggy as previous days and I could actually wear my glasses again with some success.
With my sister's aid, I was able to walk to the NICU, get a good report about Katherine from the nurses, and touch my little girl and get a glimpse of her eyes as she opened them. Everyone remained "cautiously optimistic," and that was catching. I was believing that this nineteen-ounce girl was our miracle child, serving as a testament to skilled doctors, advanced medicine, and a gracious God.
And no more than three hours later, we were being called back down, being asked to do what no parent should ever be asked. Take our child in our arms and say goodbye. The first time we held her was to watch as she left all too quickly.
I won't admit it's been easy. It's been a year of being fragile, feeling uncomfortable in large crowds, even when I know every individual. Fearing new relationships and casual conversations. Trying not to ask the impossible question of why. Allowing ourselves to be transparent when the need calls, and not feeling guilty when we find joy in life or when we need to distract ourselves from the pain.
I'm not sure how God is using this. And we will always miss our firstborn daughter. But scars and all, we made it.