Later today Facebook will flood with photos of how everyone spent this beautiful day here in Northern Virginia.
I’ve cried 7 times today.
I had a wonderful brunch with girlfriends; they make me so happy. As I left there, I cried on the way home at how lucky I felt to have them and for how supportive they have been of me and my family. They are a remarkable group of women who fill me with hope for everything. Then I got home and looked out the window to my sunny back yard. I wanted to open it up – let some fresh air into the house that feels stale. Un-lived in. All the snow has melted and I looked around and all I saw was Kate. All of her toys…all of her things were right there waiting for her for a day just like today. I cried again then, at the thought of what all my girlfriends were doing after we left brunch. I was sure they all had family plans that involved the sunshine and their babies.
Mike and I left the house to visit Kate. We had some new spring flowers and Easter eggs written with messages to deliver. So I cried again there. No Easter dress. No Easter basket. No Easter plans. Just empty eggs with notes to her that she’ll never read.
We left there to head to a furniture store to place an order for a new dining room table & chairs. I cried there upon realizing that I couldn’t…wouldn’t part with Kate’s chair. The chair Kate sat in at our dinner table. At the head of the table with her back to the door. Little yogurt stains and strawberry stains all over; we never cared because our intent was always to see her through messy eating stages before buying a new one. The table we’ve hosted every family holiday celebration since the day we announced we were expecting her until just this past Christmas dinner. I made Mike promise me that even with the new set, we would keep Kate’s chair. Somewhere in the house. I cried again when he said “of course.”
On the way to Target, we drove by the Metro when Mike said casually, “we should take the silver line to a Nats game some time this spring and come back for dinner in the courtyard area.” I cried realizing that before having her, that sounded like the perfect day. Now, it sounds like another way to fill time without her.
We got to Target and walked by a new line of bedding for kids’ rooms. A set of sheets caught my eye; because I’m always still looking at and for things Kate would have loved. They had bears & foxes & flowers all over them. I cried then again, because my loving husband asked me if I wanted to get them for her room. Cried harder when I realized I answered “yes” to buying sheets for a bed that my girl would never sleep in again. Then cried harder still when he suggested we buy two fox pillows. One for each of Kate’s “spots” on the couch.
I carry this grief around like a sopping wet blanket. I am constantly tossed around like a rag doll struggling with finding balance between feeling love and peace with my friends and family and being “okay” for a moment and allowing myself to enjoy whatever makes me smile and juggling the pain that can strike me at moment’s notice at the innocent mention of a chair. A set of sheets. A blue frisbee sitting on the ground by the swingset. Her hammock, which is where we were certain to have spent an afternoon such as today’s.
I love you, Kate. I miss you with an ache so deep. Thank you for visiting me. But I really just want you here.