Last year, I woke up on Easter morning, rubbed my swollen eyes and asked Gary to help me go for a walk. The more I could prove to the doctor that I could do on my own, the faster I could be discharged to go home. As Gary carried the memory box to his car and then later came back for me, the sadness of how hard it was to leave the hospital without our baby weighed heavy on us both.
At first, all Thursday nights were hard. It was Thursday that I stopped feeling her kick. It was Thursday that we drove to the hospital. It was Thursday that we were told "no fetal heartbeat".
Friday was the day I delivered her so Friday's were also hard. I would mentally make a note each Friday...1 week without her, 2 weeks without her, 6 weeks without her. 12 weeks without her. I counted the months of her absence as I did when she was here. But in the past, each week marked a milestone whereas now, each week marked more heartache.
Then gradually, time does what it does and it was just the 22nd of every month that was hard for me. I could handle Thursday's and I could handle Friday's, but the day of the month that we lost her will be the last bit of her that I will cling to in this way.
That was, at least, until I had to deal with Easter.
I knew it was going to be hard. I knew my heart was gonna ache. I knew the tears were right behind my eyes and wanting to roll down my cheeks.
We left for Nashville before the sun was even up on Thursday. By lunch, we were at the County Music Hall of Fame and Museum. We toured that city like it was our own and we had a blast. We bought souvenirs for our nieces and nephews and for ourselves. We toured the historical music venues and felt the ghosts of Elvis and Johnny Cash all around us. We saw a live show at the Grand Ol Opry and took an amazing tour backstage.
Thursday before Easter was now the day we got to Nashville.
Good Friday was now the day we went to the Grand Ol Opry.
Saturday was bar hopping and live music listening and laughter and fun.
Sunday was the day I came home.
Allie was with us every step of this trip. I flashed back to Easter Weekend of 2011 and relived every second. I was prepared for the pain and let it in more than I do at other times. I was also prepared to make new memories and enjoy myself and let those in as well.
At some point, I realized our trip an adventure as well as an escape.
I told Gary last night at dinner that when I stop to think of the unfairness of it all, it overwhelms me. I do not let myself think like that too much as there is nothing to gain from it and it will only make me sad.
Over the course of this weekend, I realized how utterly unfair it is that we have to live through the agony that is Easter and then again on the 22nd of this month when we celebrate our baby's actual birthday. Eventually, April 22nd will be a Tuesday or a Wednesday and then it might not have the same punch in my gut. But Easter will always have a Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
I suppose it will get easier...and I suppose in some ways, I do not mind the pain as it makes me remember my little angel and how much love I had for her then and still have for her now. So while I hate being sad and want to fight the tears, I am ok with the warmth that is in my heart right now. And the swollen eyes.
Love you, baby. Daddy and I took you with us in our hearts this weekend and hope that when we are lucky enough to have a sibling for you, we can take him or her to Nashville and relive the experience through the eyes of your brother or sister. Wouldn't that be something? I sure like to think so.