What I am learning is that my life is what I make of it. Every morning when I wake I have to put forth the effort to make a conscious choice to focus on the joy that she lived at all. The happiness I felt when I was pregnant, carrying her and planning for our future together. Grief is so draining emotionally and physically. I am not saying that it is easy for me every day, but it is something that I work on. Every. Single. Day.
Sometimes, when I really sit and think about it, it seems miraculous that anyone lives. We as humans are so vulnerable and delicate. All of us. We are creatures designed for death. No one is immune. My daughter taught me that. Paige taught me about impermanence. I am grateful for the lesson. It has helped me to be more “heavenly minded”. We can all stumble through this life pretending like it isn’t going to end, but that would be foolish. We are all going somewhere when we die and it is our own choice where.
My two living children have also been very instrumental in my journey over the last year. Trent has been along for this crazy ride since the beginning. He is now five years old and he is amazing. I never fully understood the phrase about having the faith of a child until I witnessed true and blind faith within Trenton. He accepted more at 3 years old than I did at 30. At times when I was down he reminded me that I had to keep going and that we didn’t die along with her. We were here and we needed to LIVE. He talks about her constantly and draws pictures for me of our family and she is always in them. He has nights when he wants to look through her memory box and cuddle with our Paigey Bear. Maybe with time she will not be so much a part of his every day thoughts. But, Paige will always be a part of his story. Part of the fabric of his life. She is and will forever be the baby sister that he never had the chance to play with or grow up with on this earth. The baby sister he visits in his dreams and at her grave site. For now there is a Paige shaped hole in his tender little heart, but he and I both know that one day it will be filled.
And Baby Mason. He is 4 months old. Beginning to roll over, grabbing at everything he can get his little hands on, smiling and taking his first bites of cereal. Two years ago he wasn’t even part of my plan. But now he is and it seems like it was always meant to be this way. He is a wiggly bundle of pure love and I can’t imagine my life or my family without him. How can I not feel blessed? He taught me that it is okay to hope and dream again. It is okay to move forward. Moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting the past. It means that we were strong enough to jump into the deep end again. Mason didn’t replace Paige and never could. He is his own little person who holds a great big chunk of my heart. I am thankful to Mason for restoring my hope. If I would have let fear creep into my heart and take root, I wouldn’t have been able to feel the overwhelming sensation of true and pure joy that having another child has brought to my life. It wasn’t easy getting pregnant or being pregnant after losing Paige, but it has been worth it.
So, while I wish with all of my being that things would have turned out differently 2 years ago and that Paige were here carrying her dolls around, splashing in the sprinkler with Trent and welcoming her new baby brother into the family. She isn’t. And won’t ever be. No matter how hard I wish or beg for things to be different. I am slowly coming to terms with that. It may be taking me longer than it takes other people after a loss. But I am not them. I can’t compare myself to them. I only know how my heart feels.
So for now I will hug her brothers a little tighter, kiss them a little more and pray that they will always know how very much I love them. I would have loved the chance to raise Paige in our home with her brothers, but since I can’t, I am choosing to think of her in heaven sending these beautiful moments down to me, her mother. She has everything she could ever dream of. All of her needs are fulfilled far beyond anything we can imagine here on earth. She is ALIVE with Jesus. Completely healthy. Aboundingly happy. And maybe she is excited for the day she will see me again. Maybe she loves me like I love her. And boy do I love her.
Happy 2nd Birthday in heaven my sweet girl! I hope you are having an amazing party with Jesus today. We miss you more than you will ever know. Today we are having a picnic at the cemetery and some cake after dinner. Trenton will also be sending you some balloons, just like he did last year, so keep a look out for them. We love to watch them floating up to the sky until we can’t see them anymore. Maybe you can see them then. Just know we love you and can’t wait to one day see your beautiful little face again. Keep on sending us small glimpses of heaven, we love seeing little pieces of you in our world.
This picture is from last year, her first birthday in heaven, but it is one of my favorites.