This Halloween felt very surreal. Once again a year has passed and marked a very monumental day for me. Last Halloween was the first of the holidays that I would spend without my sweet girl. It was the day that my husband returned to work. It was the first step of resuming our life, the life we didn't have the choice in but had to continue living.
I felt alone, forgotten. It did not stand out to anyone that Halloween would be hard. Or maybe it did but they didn't reach out. As dusk fell and the children started entering the streets adorned in their superhero garb, princess dresses and otherwise chosen apparel, my heart raced and panic set in. I did the only thing I have learned and put one foot in front of the other which led me to my nieces house, her first Halloween as a toddler, able to walk to the doorsteps of neighbors trick or treating. I didn't plan on staying, I didn't think I could handle it but as I tried to leave she wouldn't let me and the child who never cried even when her own parents would leave, cried and begged me to stay. She knew my heart was broken, she knew I needed love and in no way that a toddler could know, she saved me that night. She gave me the love to hold in my arms that I couldn't hold my baby girl that night. She was a my little love, that sweet little Lexi.
See last Halloween even though Ruthie Lou would have only been 11 weeks, just two weeks older than sweet Reid is this year, she was an old soul to me. She was every kid I saw walking down the street that night. She was all the things those children get to do with their parents, all the things I had lost. She was first holidays, first teeth and long sleepless nights. She was long snuggles and kindergarten and being a big sister. She was a teenager, independent and graduating high school, a young adult, going to college, falling in love getting married and having a family of her own. She was our child, our first love, our hopes and our dreams. She was a real person who we had loved, cherished, planned for and lost and would never experience these things. Our child died, our future died, a part of my heart died when she did. Halloween was hard last year. So hard.
As this year came, Halloween held different and all the same meaning. It was not the first year of loss, we were experienced at these days now. This year was Reid's year of firsts, his year to experience life in our family, our year to be a family. I loved Halloween this year, waking up to him, knowing it was his first of so many holidays to come. He wore the bumblebee costume I had stored away, waiting for its owner. I got to post the ridiculous picture of him online for friends and family to see. We were invited to celebrate the day with friends, dinner and trick or treating. And with all things true Ruthie Lou style, the day was not perfect, it rained and we couldn't do what I had hoped; pumpkin patch, hayrides and pictures, but it was perfect nonetheless.
As I walked in the rain, my sweet baby Reid bundled to my chest, watching the children run from house to house collecting their goods, I am so thankful for this life. I am so heartbroken for Ruthie Lou, I don't imagine that that will ever ever change, I miss her so incredibly much. I am so in love with Reid, I feel such pure joy when I look into his eyes, as I watch him observe and experience life around him.
Halloween was perfectly imperfect this year, just as Ruthie Lou planned, I wish she was here to enjoy it with us. What a year.
I love my boy so much. Beyond words.
I love his sister beyond words.
My heart aches for her, feels lost without her.
I don't know when that will feel any different. I don't know if it ever does.
Chris and I celebrated our love, this day 5 years ago. This day last year we sat below the heavens and celebrated our girl. Today we are living in love with our boy. What a life we chose; love, loss, sorrow and joy. I love you Chris, Ruthie Lou & Reid. You are my heart you are my world. This story warmed my heart today:
"Not too long ago in Heaven there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. He especially enjoyed the love he saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however the little soul was sad, for on this day he saw suffering in the world. He approached God and sadly asked, "Why do bad things happen; why is there suffering in the world?" God paused for a moment and replied, "Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see, unlocks the love in people's hearts." The little soul was confused. "What do you mean," he asked. God replied, "Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences and show their love and compassion for those who suffer. All their other motivations disappear and they become motivated by love alone." The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued, "The suffering soul unlocks the love in people's hearts much like the sun and the rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their heart, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine freely, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this- it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer- to unlock this love- to create this miracle for the good of all humanity.
Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could hardly contain himself. With his wings fluttering, bouncing up and down, the little soul excitedly replied, "I am brave; Let me go! I would like to go into the world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people's hearts! I want to create that miracle!" God smiled and said, "You are a brave soul I know and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this and so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. Those souls will help create your miracle; however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others. They have already chosen a name for you." God and the brave soul shared a smile and then embraced.
In parting God said, "Do not forget little soul that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel like you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought, and you will be healed." Thus at that moment the brave little soul was born into the world, and through his suffering and God's strength he unlocked the goodness and love in people's hearts. For so many people dropped their differences and came together to shoe their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those that were always too busy found time. Many began new spiritual journeys, some regained lost faith- many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. Distant family reunited, and every family spent more time together. Everyone prayed. Peace and love reigned. Lives changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle had happened. God was pleased."
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.