18 months gone

18 months. I simply can’t believe it.

officially a year and half since I have touched you.. since i have felt your warm breath in my face. 18 months since i have seen a new goofy pose for the camera..

I am still in shock over how badly it hurts. Over how much I notice the hole. I think I somehow thought by now I would be more adjusted to this new normal. But I am not.

I get asked all the time at the end of this pregnancy if I am hoping for another girl.. if I am ready for a 4th. I smile and say its our 5th we have another daughter. Rarely do people follow up with another question. Yesterday a woman did.. Handing out a sample to my kids at Costco she asked where the other girl was.

I told her she was in heaven. She didn’t even flinch. So then I knew.

She also has a daughter in heaven. She also went on to have another child afterwards.. Another silent acknowledgement of our shared pain, of our shared strength. Its incredible the immediate relationship that develops in the company of another who just simply knows.

But I know I am outwardly a mother of almost 4 children.. and its something I struggle with. I feel like I am walking around missing a shoe .. with a slight limp not noticeable to other people.. Until they know then they can’t help but notice it.

Jennifer loved the beach so today we escaped to Monterey Bay Aquarium..Time to be near the ocean and look at the fishies. I felt the ache all day.. Just so hyper aware of the lack of her.

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I looked at my 3 loves pointing and laughing and talking together… and I longed for her to be with them. .To be sitting on the ground pointing out her favorite ones and trying to guess which would come next. To be brave in the crowd and hold their hands leading the way..

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..and..

and..

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I imagined her like this.. pointing to show them all the things there were to see..

I just realized though the way I pictured her today isn’t even who she would be. I still imagined her listening to me reading the signs, even imagined her the same height in the same clothes she wore. But by now.. about to enter 2nd grade she would be the one reading to them, she would have grown and I don’t even know what she would be wearing..

Forever 6.. forever kindergartner … seems to be carrying a heavier weight for me lately..

He isn't supposed to be the biggest one in our pictures
He isn’t supposed to be the biggest one in our pictures

 

She is truly just frozen in time for me.. And I am struggling with Jonathan catching up to her. Soon to be 6.. about to start kindergarten. Its just emphasizes that she is locked in my memory. Frozen in time. And I am really battling with this simple truth. .. Which feels somehow new..

I want to crack it open.. let her escape out of the prison in my mind and just be here again.. Just be here again. It’s actually a physical reaction.. the tension I can feel right now in arms.. the twinge that makes me feel like I want to throw something.. to help her get out.. to help her come back.

I can’t. 18 months I would have thought my body would know this by now.. but it doesn’t seem to.

I just want to see her smile again. To brush her hair out of her face. To feel her hand in mine and her weight in my lap.

I want my Jennifer

I want my daughter.

But not like this anymore. I am tired of the memories only. I am mad at the hole I feel looking at my beautiful babies. And I will always wish I didn’t have to lose one to make memories like we did today. I hurt for her today.. I ached so terribly. But they didn’t. They knew only their own joy and my smile today. I know I did good. I know they had a wonderful day..

I will always have a piece of me that owes Jennifer for that. For the sacrifices she made that made me a better mom. Days like today driving home I thought a lot about that. How much of a completely different mom I am now. In both good and bad ways.. But today was a day full of the good changes. Relaxed and go with the flow.. more yes than no… but not too much of that either.. Just the right blend. Old me and new me..

thank you for that.

the sacrifices you made

that made me better

for them because of you.

IMG_0690..until there is a cure..

14 Responses to “18 months gone”

  1. Libby,
    You and Jennifer have made me a better Mom. I too, try to have more yes instead of no, but not too much. Thank you Libby. Thank you for sharing Jennifer with us.

  2. Every anniversary, every day… I feel the love in your words and know I cannot understand the pain behind them. You are a great mom and though you are different now because of losing Jennifer, you were a great mom for her too. I hope you know that. All 5 of your babies are lucky to have you… and each other. <3

  3. I live in Montrrey. We too have 4 kids (I know you will forever have 5)……but I would have loved to buy you lunch @ the aquarium or done something for you. I have read your words since the beginning of it all, including the terrible February 12. Ugh. The pain I felt and shared with you….Just mom to mom. Sorry I’m babbling. Anyway, I just would have loved to do something for you and your family.
    Ps- you are truly an AMAZING and inspiring mom and your kids are lucky to have you!

  4. I have a friend that has 3 children, 1 is in heaven. Her daughter died 8 years ago. I never look at a picture of her 2 living children without thinking about her child in heaven. Always – I always remember “all” of her children. Just so you know – many will always think about Jennifer when they see you with your other children….always.

  5. Libby, you capture so eloquently your emotions and experiences of trying to find a new normal after the loss of your first born. Your blog has helped me in so many ways, and through your words and tireless efforts, you are no doubt making a great impact when it comes to childhood cancer awareness. All I can say is wow!!! You personify what it means to be a mother. No matter how hard it has gotten for you, and losing a child is the hardest thing a mother can go through, look at all you have accomplished!!! This blog, this movement, raising 4 other children….you are amazing, for Jennifer, and because of Jennifer. I am so very proud of you!!! THANK YOU

  6. Forever 6- Forever Your Sweet Angel. LOVE4JLK. Praying for angel visits during your delivery. Another Beautiful yet heartbreaking post🙏🏻🙏🏻

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