I woke.. just a few minutes before the birthday girl. Those moments alone were so necessary. I went to her and wished her a happy birthday… I tried to steel myself for the onslaught of the day. We waited for the boys to wake up then we went together to see what we had decorated for her.
She seemed to really like it. We decided to wait on opening presents until Daddy came home.. and we headed to Monterey. I needed to get out of town.. to be near the water. I needed to make it a good day for them.. The drive allowed me the time to think.. and be in myself.
Before we left we baked some gluten free cupcakes. Jonathan asked for gluten free and it felt right to me also.
We walked on the beach and let balloons go for her.. messages to sissy… Jonathan’s main message.. that she be there for Charlottes birthday.. I hope he felt her. I hope she came to him.
It was hard not to completely crack.. I wanted to just sit in the sand.. and cry. Mourn the one I lost 3 months ago. The one missing.
I got up.. and tried my best to celebrate the one I gained a year ago. Here is a video from the day she was born its not gory and it has some amazing pictures of Jennifer meeting her baby sister.
Cannot believe its been 3 months. .. only 6 months since she was first diagnosed. I cannot remember a time not grieving.. cannot remember what it felt like before we knew she was going to die.
I feel like I cant remember her .. the real her.. the healthy her.. I wish I had written like I do now… So I could read our average days and just be transported back.
so thankful for my photos.
It was one of those days where I looked like a rock star mom. 3 different couples/people came up commenting not just how cute my kids are.. but how well behaved they were.. what meant the most to me was how they stuck together and were so kind to each other..
the way she made them..
Its one of the many things I miss about her as their sister, her ability to teach them how to be good to each other. Today reminded me how it used to be..most of the time.. I hope this can continue.
**I remembered this photo of her from the aquarium.. I wanted to see all of them together but didn’t see the same shell**
I hope I can be better at it also, being nicer. I found myself struggling today.. not being as kind to them as they deserve… feeling like I was walking a thin line.
A line I have straddled a million times before in my short parenting career. A gift she gave them is my awareness of it now.. and how much harder I am working now at staying on top of it.
.. .. I just realized as I was mentally rehashing our day…my feelings of overly frustrated with them was before we left and once we got home.. Maybe just a heightened awareness that Jennifer was missing..
We left and got some ice cream cones.
On the way home they all slept. I cried.. and talked to her.. and made a phone call. At home I made some of Charlottes favorite foods and we waited out front for Tony.
I couldn’t even get up to hug him when he got home… She loved to wait for him outside. She begged for it. Sometimes we made up songs for him .. .I remember once we made up a whole routine for him and preformed it right when he walked in the door… or the kids would hide and he would act so worried/mad that I didn’t know where they were.. then they would yell surprise.
she would run to him.
never walked to his arms. Hair flying behind. I was more than a little jealous.. but one thing I was certain of.. I would get her back. As an adult she would be mine again. I love my boys. I enjoy my sons. But I do not look forward to them as adults.. so much changes. But my daughters.. I looked forward to it so much. It gave me something to look forward to.
thank you for Charlotte. thank you thank you thank you.
Every time I was pregnant I wished for whatever would be best for Jennifer. I think a sister was so very good for her.. but I think maybe it was really for me.
.. . something to keep me going.. to look forward to in 30 yrs. . the relationship I will have with my Charlie bear. ..
please let me still be good enough to earn that…. please let her outlive me.
.. . please..
I don’t allow myself to dream that far in the future.. way too scary.
We ate dinner and sang her happy birthday and had our cupcakes..Happy birthday sweet Charlotte.. I thought of Jennifer so much..
She was always right there with them as they blew out their candles… I was so sure she would live long enough to help Charlotte. .
I hoped I would “see” her today…
Then a bath and presents. Jonathan and I had ordered her a sea-sea…So that they all have one now. Jennifer had begged for a pink one for Christmas so we got it. She still has it.. it will be with her forever..When we decided to send it with her, Jonathan and I also hatched a plan to get baby Charlotte one for her first birthday, a physical connection between all 4 of my kids.
She also opened a present from Jennifer. Something her big sister had put aside for her. .. so thankful I had the knowledge of her death so we could plan these things together.. I had planned so much more though.. thought we had so much more time..
6 months.. that’s what I was banking on.. I am so jaded I really meant that 6 months seems like so much time with my child.
I didn’t get to do and make all the things I wanted to. But I did a little.. it will be so hard for me when all of it shared .. when the last of things from her have been given to her siblings… no more tangible…
Nicholas is really missing her… and I think.. oh I am scared to jinx it… I think maybe she visits him. He has been talking about her suddenly so much. Now calling her Jennifer.. like she has changed to him somehow. He mentioned her twice during prayer at dinner, during his own and Jonathan’s.
And he is crying a lot. Hand over his mouth like he is trying to not let it escape.. his eyes looking confused at his overflow of emotion.. this is not his usual self. He is 2. Grieving and watching us grieve. That has to be so hard.
We went for our its the 12th tradition of cold yogurt. I couldn’t believe they really wanted to go after all the sweet they had today. But I am glad we went.. I debated it.. Tony chose not to go. We drove away and a song from her slideshow came on. I got some to go for me and Tony to have at home later. .
Its a simple tradition but I like that it honors the passing of the months in a not horrible way. 3 months.
I can’t beleive its been that long..
I can’t believe its been that short.
Because Nicholas had yesterday Jonathan wanted to sleep in her room.. but I think it was too much for him. He ended up back in his room after several times of us going back to him.. giving him the option. holding him. telling him it was ok to stay there.. or not.. telling him he could try again another time.
..please visit him baby girl.. your brother misses you so much.
we all do. we always will.