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 am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.