So, here we are again.
We have a love/hate relationship.
I dread this month, I hate this month, I love this month. It is Ruthie Lou's month. It is Reid's month. They now share this time. Spread across a year but only a matter of dates apart, during 33 days I will celebrate the birth of my daughter, the birth of my son, then the death of my daughter on the day of my birth. A whirlwind of 33 days. It still feels unreal.
In those 33 days, your life will speed by at its normal rate while mine runs parallel to a time never returned. Days that I can re-live like it was yesterday.
Last days of pregnancy with Ruthie Lou I can remember food I ate, clothes I wore, conversations had, the scorching Cloverdale weather and perusing Etsy for the perfect headband to purchase for her newborn photo shoot. Days of innocence.
Just as clear as yesterday, I can also remember the devastating days after her birth, living in a hospital, hearing the beeps of machines and only holding my daughter after being granted permission....until the moment they told us our days were limited and hope was lost.
Then the sweetest days roll in, a time out of time. In these days, I am back at George Mark, rocking her in our chair. I can feel her soft skin, smell her baby sweetness, see the crisp clear Autumn sunsets and run my fingers through her hair. These are the days of Ruthie Lou's life. Life beyond the hospital.
I remember the days surrounding Reid's birth just as clearly; the fear, PTSD, coupled with hope, and faith rolled into one big ball of emotions. Then he was here, he had arrived safely! Not without his own dramatic entrance but in my arms he would stay.
In just one short year, 365 days:
August 29, 2011 We walked our daughter into her new home, George Mark Children's House, for the end of her life.
August 29, 2012 We walked our son into his home to begin his life..
This month carries the most love I have ever felt coupled with such complete devastation. I am often still in disbelief that this is our life, that our child has died, that we have this beautiful boy with us now. And then August hits.
I am so grateful that in the midst of this sadness and longing for my daughter, that we get to celebrate Reid's life, his birth! It is something so special that they share, the month of August. I love that gift.
August, ready or not, you have arrived. Please just be gentle on me.
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.