We decided to have a low key celebration this year. Gary left work a little early and stopped to get some pink balloons and a little cake. We wrote messages to Allie and then released the balloon into the crisp but sunny and bright day. We bundled Miranda up and took her out on the deck with us. My mom stopped by and was by our side. It was emotional. It was sweet. It was everything a 2nd birthday party could be for a child that is not here with us.
A few days ago, I looked at Gary and said, "What a difference a year makes." He replied back with, "What a difference a MONTH makes!" And he was right. Last month was waiting and hoping and crossing what we could - this month is diaper changes and bottle warmers and, if I am lucky, a shower! We are supposed to sleep when the baby sleeps and yet we both find ourselves starting at her in utter disbelief that she is here and that she is ours.
Without Allie, there would be no Miranda. Which means each and every day, we are thankful for both our girls.
Mother's Day is just around the corner. In the past, this has been such a hard day for me. I did not want to deny that I was/am Allie's mom, but without raising her, I felt that it was not fair to call myself her mom. Fast forward to now and I can't wait to celebrate the day for both of my girls. Allie made me a mom and I realize that more now that ever. Miranda is letting me test the role out and see how it fits. Each day is a new challenge and a new obstacle and it's so much better than I ever dreamed.
The outpouring of love that we have received is nothing short of fantastic. Our dining room is now known as the "present room" as each person that comes over refuses to do so empty handed! I get texts and calls all day long wanting to know how Miranda is doing and if we need anything and when they can come back to see her or hold her again. It's so amazing.
When I stop to think that I missed out on all of this with Allie, it hurts my heart. I can't spend too much time wondering what it would have been like if this was 2011 and not 2013 but that's not fair to either child. To deny those feelings is not fair, either. Sigh. Such is the life of parents who had to bury a child.
We have a video monitor installed in the nursery and the past few nights, when the baby is fed and changed and sleeping and it's my turn to sleep, I find myself starting at it looking to make sure she is moving or breathing or something.
And so on Allie's 2nd birthday, with a mouth full of cake, I said to Gary, "I am not sad right now. I feel like I should be sad but I am not. I am actually happy." His reply? "Good. You should be. That's what Allie would want." I think he is right. Thank you, Allie. Thank you for sending your sister to us and for allowing us to at long last be happy.
|Miranda, Our Rainbow|