This night was the first sunset we watched with our girl, 3 years ago. Holding her in my arms meant freedom from the wires, the constrictions of the hospital, settling in for our life at George Mark. It also meant we were saying goodbye. Going to bed that night I had such anxiety I couldn't breathe and I certainly couldn't sleep. Ruthie Lou couldn't either. This began our 11 nights together, nights of sleeplessness, nights I would give anything to have again.
She was so sweet in the crib we put her in. She just laid there, eyes open, watching the room as I watched her. She hardly slept and neither did I so I swooped her out of bed and brought her to the couch. I was so tired, hardly sleeping the three weeks prior staying in the hospital, I was craving rest. So, there we slept, on that couch. I listened to her purring breath and loved every sad minute of it, worried it would be my only chance. She never slept in that crib again...
I hated those moments
I loved those moments.
I cherish those moments.
I miss those moments.
The love, the strength, the fear, worry and sadness, all rolled into this little lifetime we were fortunate to share. In these moments I do ask why. Why couldn't she stay? I hope one day to find out. I'm pretty sure that "one day" will be in another life...
We were so unbelievably strong in our weaknesses, remaining present while having to answer questions like life support, organ donation, cremation or burial, funerals and obituaries. And in the midst of it, be parents, proud, joyful, loving, present and caring parents. And amazingly somehow we did! I still don't know how we did that.
We took walks, laid in the grass, listened to the waterfall, watched sunsets, critters and birds. We went in the warm tub, snuggled on the couch, sang songs and took 2,000 pictures. We lived as much as one possibly could, in 12 days.
I used to wonder if I kissed Ruthie Lou enough. Could it ever be enough? Then, Reid was born. I kiss him 8 million times a day. I KNOW I kissed her as much but it is still never enough, would never be enough.
They sky was beautiful tonight. As I sit here under the dark sky, smelling the change in seasons, I am so sad yet so grateful. I got so many memories with Ruthie Lou, 33 days of loving her alive in this world. That's 33 days more than many. I am so grateful to know her in this life, even if I'll spend the rest of it missing her.
And I do miss her. Every second of every minute of every day.
This is her month.
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.