Baby Charlotte is 2. I have never had a 2 year old without a newborn on my hip.. She was supposed to stay the baby of our family.. she won’t. And we are so very grateful for this new baby we are waiting to arrive.. but wish I could have all of them here.. Its a bittersweet thing.
Getting down the decorations I actually really liked seeing all the things we had hung up over the years for Jennifer. I touched them .. so many starting to break apart now and I remembered how much she enjoyed getting to wake up on the morning of her birthday to a decorated house.. how she had her own princess and Dora and pink sparkly decorations.. I liked it. I smiled remembering her and those birthday moments.
We have some decorations that are hung up for all the kids. I remembered her being so excited to stay up to do something special for her siblings. One of my greatest traditions, keeping siblings up while the almost birthday kid has to go to bed.. Letting the other kids decorate the birthday chair.
One that I am so glad we have been able to continue on.. Because Jonathan has been talking about it for the past few days, that he and Nicholas would get to stay up late to decorate for Baby Charlotte.
There were of course moments that gripped me and I imagined what her role would have been in the decorating process, but overall it was really good for me. Tony on the other hand struggled his way though it. Seeing “her” decorations without seeing her hurt him. I hate that. Hate seeing my husband ache and knowing we are helpless in doing anything to ease that pain.
I went out when it was done to get the helium balloons. 4 of them. 1 for each of our kids. I always did that. Got a balloon for the birthday kid with the open hope they would share one with each sibling. I was starting to feel sorry for myself as I drove..
But then I got to the store. .The line was long to check out.. people with candles in their hands .. A beautiful 15 year old girl was killed this weekend in a car crash, her mother just happens to work with Tony. Tonight she was being remembered by candlelight vigil.
So I wandered around looking for yellow plates and cups.. since thats my Charlottes favorite color. And I heard the conversations. Different thoughts, ideas, opinions about this girl, the accident and the people involved. That must have happened for us too.. I wonder what must people have said.
And it was really very difficult. For a lot of different reasons.
Because I know.. the best anybody can know anothers pain how horrible this all is for that family.. for that mother. How so fake and surreal these days are.
Seeing my Facebook feed so full of her face makes me remember that time for us. How I just stared at the screen as I scrolled unable to concentrate well enough to take in anything but her picture over and over again.
I hate that I know any of this. I hate that now when a child dies I feel a need to reach out to the parents, because maybe I can help.. even just a little. I am glad I have that piece of me still. That piece that would go to a strangers home at 3 a.m if there was any chance I could possibly help.
And I so desperately hate how selfish this all has made me. That I can’t just sit and be sad for this little girl and her family.. that all of it leads right back to me. To my pain to my heartache.
That I find myself wondered what that moment would have been like. To see a field light up in honor of my daughter.. Is that normal?? I don’t even know. .. I hope so. But I am not all that confident that it is.
maybe you can help her jennifer
help her find ways to reach her mommy
maybe you can show her around
and maybe she can help take care of you.
..until there is a cure..