Hello friends…here we are. December 26th and Christmas is officially over. The truth of the matter is, we had a harder time in the month leading up to Christmas than the actual day itself. Christmas Eve (night) through Christmas morning were brutal; I didn’t sleep. But thanks to the love and friendship of those willing to be with us and accept us exactly as we are, we made it. In all honesty, we just faked it…pretended it WASN’T Christmas. Afterall, without Kate, it truly wasn’t. How could it be?
But see…here’s what’s so HARD about these firsts…and what I imagine remains hard for the seconds…and thirds. Here’s what you may not see coming. It’s STILL THERE. You breathe a sigh of relief because “whew, we made it!” and you sort of expect that there will be an upswing that follows. But there never is. All we did was successfully make it through our first holiday season without our precious child. But there will be more. A lifetime more. And she will still be gone. She will still be missing. There will never, ever be a Kate in my arms again and I’ll have to do this over and over and over again until I breathe my last breath; my final sigh of relief.
And so now we enter what I imagine will be the hardest of the firsts we’ll experience. Entering into a new year with painful, knowing memories that will haunt us and keep us awake and the anniversary of the day she so unexpectedly had to go. And I’ll say “I have no idea how we’ll do this” but we will. We just do. I have no idea how and I certainly have no idea why we were gifted this life and the joy of her if we couldn’t keep her. I’ll never know until it doesn’t matter anymore.
But I know that we are loved. I know that she IS love. I know that I’ll lean into her Daddy…that I’ll hold her Lovey close…and that I’ll cry more than I let on. I’ll write, I’ll share, I’ll be angry and I’ll be desperate to understand. I’ll search for her and I will remember the little details of her beautiful life and precious self. I will find a way to keep her here; in the now. Somehow, I also know I will survive and I will awake on January 13th.
A year and a day without her. And I will wonder…how do I keep doing this? How do I keep going? How do I keep her here; in the now?
And somehow? I will.