|New ornament I brought for Katie's niche|
along with the usual flowers. Inscription reads
"A daughter is heaven sent."
Beyond this point, the picture gets a bit hazy. It's easy to imagine what your kids would be doing & saying when they're younger, in school, and all their peers are doing the same sorts of things. Once they get older, past high school, and develop minds and personalities and lives of their own, it becomes a bit harder to keep tabs on them (whether they're alive OR dead, right?).
A few weeks ago, my cousin's 21-year-old daughter (born in March 1998) popped by my dad's 80th birthday party in the city to say hello (both her dad/my cousin, and her grandma/my aunt/my dad's sister, were there, as well as most of her great-aunts & uncles on her dad's side). She works & lives in another western Canadian city these days with her boyfriend, but was home for a visit. I had a hard time reconciling the image of this grown-up, independent young woman with who my daughter (her second cousin) might be right now. The thought that perhaps she & Katie might have looked a bit like each other too -- people have told me I look like her grandma/my aunt (and the older I get the more I see it) -- blew my mind.
Many of the rituals that got us through August 7th during those first difficult years have drifted by the wayside. We haven't ordered in Chinese food, or gone out for Dairy Queen Blizzards, in years, nor have I gone through my box of keepsakes in a while or made a donation in her memory or posted her story on my pregnancy loss list (which actually doesn't exist anymore). But we did take roses to the cemetery this morning (and then went for lunch and a bookstore browse in our old neighbourhood). I am satisfied.
I am doing OK. My grief these days is much more muted/low-key than it would have been 20, 15, 10 years ago. So many years have passed now, & so many tears.
I feel mostly sadness. And fatigue (I need a nap!! lol) And gratitude. For my husband. For my daughter's brief existence, and what she gave us. For all of you who have supported us during these past 21 years (including 11+ years on this blog). Thank you.
(I have not heard anything about Older Nephew's Wife's ob-gyn visit today -- assuming she's already gone -- it's mid-afternoon here right now. I will assume that no news is good news, and continue to hope and pray that things continue to go well...!)