Three Years

Dear Bella,

These days your presence is like a soft whisper that blows over me in the cool autumn breeze. The signs of fall are upon us and it reminds me of you. It was on one of these early fall days, filled with the winds of seasonal change, that we arrived at the hospital to say hello and goodbye to you.

The season of our life changed in an instant on that September 11th in 2009.

Life has never been the same since you left us.

But it’s ok.

Because for the first time in the 3 years I finally feel a shift back to me. A stronger, clearer, braver, fuller, version of me. It used to make me feel guilty to re-discover a better version of myself. Like being happy, content, and in love with this new life we carved out — the one without you in it — was in some way wrong.

Like I was somehow forgetting you.

But baby girl, I’ve learned that I’m lying to myself when I say those things because you are on my mind each and every day.

You are the golden angel on my shoulder. My guiding light. My conscience. You are the one that has taught me to see the beauty in every moment. Especially the ones where I want to tear my hair out because your sister is whining and throwing a toddler tantrum, where I’m stuck in horrendous traffic again, or where I’ve just vulnerably put my heart and soul on the line by sharing the intimate parts of you with the world.

Today I know it’s inevitable. My mind will fill with the flashbacks of sobs, sadness, silence, and guilt that filled the room on the day you were born and died.

I’ll think of the nurses who were there to ease the pain of a different kind of delivery (they’re names and faces are forever etched in my memory), I’ll remember the minute my water broke in the wee hours of the morning, I’ll remember the nurse who forgot to page the doctor on call prolonging the hurt longer than necessary. I’ll think about that damn morphine button I pushed over and over and over again partly to ease the physical pain but mostly to forget the emotional pain. I’ll remember the doctor who cried right along with us when you arrived and the shock of being wheeled out of the hospital room and to the car without you in our arms only 4 hours after saying hello and goodbye in an instant.

Today will be hard.

Like it always is.

But I also know that if I listen carefully for your soft sweet whispers, they will appear.

The ones that tell me:

Mom, it’s ok. Look at how far you’ve come in only 3 short years. Because of me you’ve hoped, you’ve dreamt, you’ve soared. I love you.

I love you too my Bella Rose.

Always and forever.