i am mad.
i am angry.
i want to break something.
i want to cus.
i want to tell everyone that i am a mom even though i’m not holding my baby.
i want to scream.
i can’t do this.
i do not want to wake up tomorrow just to be reminded that my baby girl died one month ago.
i should not have to spread her ashes somewhere.
i am tired of being strong.
when i see a newborn my heart aches for mine.
i am sick of books about grief.
i am tired of going to sleep with my eyes burning every night.
i miss my baby girl.
i want to hold her.
i want to hear her cry.
i wish people would just say her name in front of me.
i am so sick of feeling like something is missing.
because it is.
i am mad.
As my mom told me the story it caused me to stop and think how I would answer that question in the future. If someone asks, “Do you have children” or eventually, “Is this your first child”, how would I answer that. I thought the girls answer was so elegant and raw, “No, my firstborn is in heaven.” I want to have the courage to answer that way.
We are at the beach right now, and this morning Dan and I went on a little stroll before the rain came in. I started telling him the same story, because I hadn’t had a chance to yet. He told me about a conversation that he had at a vet conference recently, where a professor asked him if he had any children. He paused and in the situation did not know how to respond. It was so soon, and so he just quietly said, “no”. Throughout the rest of his conversation with this professor he kept bursting to tell him about Mary Anna, but he didn’t know how.
Dan and I both agreed that from now on that we would always say, no matter what the audience is, that “yes, we have a baby girl and she is in heaven”. As we finished our walk and the rain started slowly coming down I could not help but wonder if she heard the same thunder rolls that I did. It was so symbolic of our walk right now. As we begin to Keep Walking and make a step forward, the rain is always there slowly coming down to remind us that even though we are walking, we are still in the storm.
Dear Mary Anna,
You would be one month old today. I wake up today feeling so empty because you are not here, but feeling so full because I got the best 4 days of my life with you. You should be home by now and up at all hours of the night. I should be finally getting used to my new schedule as your mom, and I should be writing this letter in present tense and not past tense. I can’t help but see you in everything that I do. You have changed so many lives my baby girl. I am SO proud of you. I hear stories of what you are doing every day, and it makes me feel so lucky to be your mommy. I am so sad it hurts. My body hurts, because I miss you so much. I will never forget you, and I will never stop loving you. You changed me, and I will never be the same because you were my girl. It hurts too bad to write this because I want to be busy with you not trying to make myself busy without you. I hug the little bear they gave me the day you went to heaven all day long, and it makes me feel a little better, but it makes my arms ache to hold you. I miss you more everyday. This has been the hardest month that I have ever lived, but I would do it all over again to have you. You were worth it Mary Anna, and you always will be. Thank you for letting me be your mommy.
As I say to you everyday, “you’re doing it baby girl, you’re changing lives”.
I LOVE YOU,
I will never forget a few days after Mary Anna went to heaven, we were talking with my parents, and Dan was saying how much he loved her. He told my dad that he never knew he could love something so much in such a short amount of time, and then he said, “I’m sure it’s different with how much you love Kari since she’s been your daughter so much longer.” My dad looked at Dan and said, “Absolutely not. I will never forget the first moment that I held Kari and I love her the same now that I loved her then. I might have more memories, but that love is instant.” I could not agree more. The love is instant. Anyone who has had a child knows they change you forever the moment that you lay eyes on them. My love cup is full and always will be thanks to my baby girl.
Today was our first day back at church since Mary Anna passed. We haven’t been avoiding church, but due to being gone a lot lately, we haven’t been in town on a Sunday yet. I woke up wanting to avoid church with my every being. I was tired, my head hurt, my body ached, and I did not want to deal with the emotions of walking through those doors. Against my will, I got up and took a shower and each step towards leaving for church I could feel my anxiety heighten.
I grabbed my coffee, Bible, and waterproof mascara and hopped in the car with Dan and started the dreaded drive. Sundays have always been happy days. I always look forward to Sundays, because they recharge my batteries for the week. The kicker is that my baby girl was born on a Sunday. We had her service at our church in the same room that we meet every Sunday. Now, Sundays are just hard. They remind me of her birth and her death. We get to church, and we walk in and Dan says, “here we go…”. We sit down, and I feel numb. I can’t sing, smile, or cry. I sit through the whole service without any emotion until we get to the end. Our church sings a song and during that song we do communion every week. The music starts to play, and I feel my stomach tighten, it’s Rock of Ages. It’s one of the songs that we sang at Mary Anna’s service. It makes my heart ache for her.
Dan and I had a miscarriage last summer that was very hard. The first Sunday that we walked into church afterwards they played this song at the same point in the service. I remember standing there and at the end when it says “your will be done”, thinking that I could not bear to sing that line. I had just recovered from losing a baby and how dare anyone think I should sing that. That song reminded me of the baby we lost, but slowly it gave us hope for the future and hope in the Lord.
We decided once we found out that we were pregnant with Mary Anna that we wanted that song sung at her baptism. It has always been special to us, a song of tragedy and triumph. So when it was time to plan her service after she passed, it was an easy decision to have that song sung.
Needless to say, I sobbed the whole song and never even sang one word. I sobbed the whole walk to communion and the whole walk back to my seat. I couldn’t help but think as I ate the bread and drank the wine that my Mary Anna has already seen the whole picture. I haven’t yet. I don’t get it. I miss her, and I am angry.
All I know for sure is that, Rock of Ages, YOUR will be done.
Again, I took a step out of the churches doors and decided to Keep Walking.