I had a really powerful memory of my girl just now. We were swinging in hammock in our back yard; a present we bought Daddy once. Katie called it ‘hammocking.’ I would lay with her head on my shoulder (always my left shoulder) and I’d push us with my foot. She loved laying there with me. We’d play guessing games and talk.
It is just as simple and as complicated as this.
Some days I do okay. Then days like today I fight…FIGHT. I work at it all day long to choke back the tears until my throat hurts and I collapse at home unable to do anything but pull the covers over my head and sit numbly wondering what’s next.
Kate, you should be here. Because you were only four years, six months and six days old. Because you had the “good kind.” Because from day one, you did so remarkably well. Because we did “everything right.” But because of some God-only-knows reason, you are gone. You are gone because we failed you. Because you, as a child, weren’t a priority for our nation, there were no medications available to you to keep your cancer from coming back. So then why did we torture you with it for two years if it wasn’t going to work?? It shouldn’t have come back and it damn sure shouldn’t have come back as fast and relentlessly as it did. You were going to be okay…everyone thought so.
And so I lost you. I lost you FOREVER. You won’t be coming back and this is the life, the hole, the emptiness we have to live with in the wake of your absence. And I do mean the wake…because the waves have knocked me down over and over again and I’m just sometimes really tired of getting back up.
I miss you Kate. Every single smart, tender-hearted, kind, loving, silly, funny, quirky, beautiful ounce of you.
OK I’m just going to say it. “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”
It’s not really a secret that I am not overly religious. We are not a regular church-going family, but certainly have our moments when we are moved to do so. We believe in God. We believe in Heaven. But we also believe in signs, symbols, psychics and mediums. We believe that those gifts come FROM God. We LOVE and RELY on prayers from others and the prayers we say ourselves…I do believe they lift us. I do believe God has a plan, though I’m mad as hell at Him for His for Kate and I was raised to believe that was perfectly okay. I would call us very spiritual people, but not specifically religious. (I’m not interested in a debate on this; my word on the matter ends here.)
It’s supposed to rain the next few days, but lead way to an absolutely gorgeous weekend weather-wise. Sunny and highs in the low 80s. Perfect summer weather. Only…what do we DO?
Kate Olivia was born on Sunday, June 5th, 2011 at 4:04am weighing 7 lbs. 4 oz. and was 19 1/4 inches long. She was big being 5 weeks early but ended up in the NICU for four days.
This morning, (I kid you not) I woke up at exactly 4:04am with tingling at my scar. I think Kate woke me to remind me…she’s still here.
I read a letter by a fellow momma in grief not too long ago. She was desperate for her village to acknowledge her baby’s first heavenly birthday. I found myself nodding along to everything she wrote and to everything she asked.
Just like me, she was scared her baby would be forgotten. I know you won’t forget Kate’s sweet face or her cute little glasses. I know you’ll remember the stories I’ve told and the letters I’ve written. But, selfishly, I need more. I need more on this day than for you to hover over the options of whether to “like” or “love” something. I need details. I need to save them all up for a rainy day, publish them all in a journal or keep them for my own quiet reflection. I need to know about her…from your heart to mine.