Spending my days with a 14 month old put a lot of life into perspective. Things that used to be such a big deal to me simply do not matter any more. Things that never mattered, suddenly do.
I love watching my daughter discover the world around her. Last week she (finally) started to walk and the pride I felt was akin to to if she had cured cancer. Seems silly to be so excited over something that most of us take for granted, but it was so special and watching Miranda learn how to literally put one foot in front of the other was amazing to me.
I love taking her to the playground and watching her navigate the slide the and the steps and the swing. I love how she likes to explore the terrain and how she tilts her head back to stare at the sky. I can't get enough of her doing the most basic of things.
This past Saturday, I went to a Coach Bag Bingo to help raise money for a family in need. I went with one of my oldest friends and part of the reason I went was just to spend time with her. We had an absolute blast and I can't wait to hear how much money was raised. I actually won a bag (yay me!). I walked into the church with my girlfriend and walked out with lots of new friends. Women bond in the most unique of way and there in that cavernous church, playing Bingo with 150 strangers, we all became friends. They shared their wine and their snacks and each time someone won, everyone applauded. It was a special night and I was glad to be a part of it.
At one point, as we were buying our raffle tickets, I heard someone call my name. My maiden name. I looked up and saw an old family friend. She came over to say hello and see how I was. We are Facebook friends but I had not seen her in years and years. But I had seen her dad not too long ago. He was the anesthesiologist when I delivered Allie.
I immediately told her how wonderful her dad had been to me that day. How having him there was consoling and comforting and how he made me feel safe. I remember his kindness and the look of compassion in his eyes. It's been 3 years, but when I close my eyes, I can picture my delivery so clearly. So much of it was filled with pain. He took some of that pain away.
Then we talked about our kids and what we were up to now. It was easy to talk to her and talk about Allie. It was nice to be able to talk about both of my daughters. I do not usually get to do that with people that I do not see that often.
As I sat at the table and the numbers were being called, it put so much into perspective for me. My health is good. My family is secure. My daughter is thriving. I have so much to be grateful for and indeed I am. Does that mean it is ok that Allie is not here? Absolutely not. Does that mean I am finding a way to live my life in spite of my loss? Yes.
The fact of the matter is, I never believed in angels. I never thought much about heaven or the afterlife. But I am SO sure, with all of my being, that Allie is up in the clouds, watching over us, protecting us. Sometimes my heart skips a beat or the hairs on the back of my neck rise and I am not sure why...and then I pause to think...is that her?
Allie was with us at the park on Saturday. She is always with us. We are lucky to have our personal angel looking out for us. I think it's all just a matter of perspective. I cannot change the fact that she is not here but I can change the way I think about her. I think from now on, I choose luck. And gratitude. I would rather have her in some capacity than none at all. Maybe it's all about perspective.