Yesterday was hard at Rachel's grave for me... her flower pot had not just fallen over, but it was broken too. Her grass has come in quite a bit and there's just a bit of dirt left that needs to be re-seeded. I knew this would be another one of the bittersweet moments cause it is just proof that her death wasn't yesterday - although it feels like it.
I drove up and down the rows of the cemetery afterwards looking at other stones getting myself more upset that Rachel's stone isn't going to be the way I want it. A friend of mine used to say to me "compare and despair" (I think it was a great life lesson she got from Saturday Night Live) but how true is that? As long as I'm comparing, whether it's about her stone, how long she lived, how her birthday went, how I feel, how the 5K goes... etc, etc, etc.... I will find reasons to despair.
It's hard not to when I don't have her here with me and am relying on just a few things that I can do for her to satisfy my intense desire to nurture her. I want her to have the best of everything and unfortunately, with some things, there are no do-overs. Every decision I have made for her since last August has been heart wrenching. Nothing has been as straightforward as it should be. There are many times in the last year that I thought I might explode from the pressure that comes with decisions about my girl and for my girl. It's been a long year.
I have found myself with regrets over things that I didn't think of doing with her or for her, regrets over decisions I made ahead of time or on the spot and it's hard not to harp on them. I see or hear about something that someone else DID do and get frustrated that I didn't hear or see it before I buried her. But I could literally drive myself crazy for the rest of my life doing this. I'm never going to be able to say I did everything exactly how I would have wanted, but I need to trust that if it was supposed to be different, that God would have revealed it to me then. That's hard to even write, never mind believe!
My baby has been gone so long... so much longer to go. Tomorrow will be 7 months. I can't believe it. Yesterday I lost the "R" ring I bought myself for her 6 month bday. I cried over it last night and then dreamed that I found it. When I woke up this morning, I was laying in bed awake and Matt came in and asked me what I was thinking about...
"I was wondering if Rachel moved after she was born" I said. I never got to see her move by the time Dr. Dummy gave her to me. I was wondering what it would have been like to see her kick her legs like she did for so long inside of me...to feel her with my hands without my skin separating us. I just wanted to be able to see her vibrant life that I knew for all those months... but she wasn't the same baby I had known while she was in my womb. She was slowly dying in my arms. I'm sad that Matt never knew her like I did. Last night he commented how hard it would be to lose one of our other children (I'm assuming because we know them better - and I know he's not the only person who has looked at it that way) and all I could say was "that is what it's like for me." I lost a child that I knew and was bonded with.
She's always on my mind. The last thought at night, first thought in the morning. When I wake up throughout the night to roll over, and I bring her blanket and stuffed animal with me, I think of her. When I feel the new baby kicking, which he's doing a lot of these days, I remember what it was like to feel her after I knew she was going to die. The journey has been full of such joy and sorrow.
I got a special gift in the mail yesterday. I figured it was no coincidence that it got here on a Friday. My blog friend Lisa is a photographer and has offered to edit Rachel's pictures for me so she doesn't look as blue. She edited the one I posted a couple weeks ago and Rachel looks much better. I would love to have a few color pictures to hang up and to use in our family pictures (instead of black and white)... I'm excited that it will be possible now. Anyway, Lisa sent me these two necklace charms she made for me