She Would Be Three
I remember tiny fingers wrapped around mine. I remember dark eyes looking up at me. I remember rubbing my chin against her soft, downorehead. y, dark hair. I remember them laying her on my chest for the first time. How it felt like there was nothing there. I remember her little “elephant machine”, her little CPAP machine, squishing her pug nose.
I remember the joy she brought.
I remember the phone call. The drive in. Standing there watching in shock as they performed CPR on her. I remember them taking me into a conference room and tell me she could die at any second. I remember standing in the hallway, trying to figure out how I was supposed to call Sheldon and tell him. I remember 12 days of ups and down. Of hope given and hope dashed. I remember reaching out in faith like I never have before. I remember the terror and the dread.
I remember having to say goodbye. I remember the last time they laid her on my chest. I remember reading her the stories, and singing her the songs. I remember telling her she could go if she had to, but that I didn’t want her to.
Oh God, I didn’t want her to.
I remember leaving the hospital holding on to an old, ragged, stuffed cow. I remember pulling up to our house and wondering how on earth I was supposed to get out of the vehicle and walk back into our lives without her.
I remember people saying it would be okay, that time would heal. I remember hating that, knowing it was true. I remember when every smile and laugh felt like an act of betrayal. I remember fearing the light that came filtering back into my life. I was so scared that happiness would wipe away her memory.
I remember the dark days. I remember my faith crumbling down to the foundation. But I had a solid foundation and so that’s where the crumbling stopped. I remember having to start over with God. I remember fearing for my marriage. I remember how we ultimately turned to each other instead of from each other.
I remember how as time passed it did what it is known to do. You can’t bleed out forever, eventually you must clot and scar. I remember emotionally putting all sad things Rory into a little room in my heart. I remember closing the door on the infinite sadness. Sometimes the door blows open unexpectedly. Sometimes I open it just a crack and peer inside. Sometimes I go in, and there the sadness is, just as fresh and agonizing as it was the day she left us.
I keep the happy things Rory with me. Her pictures are out in my house. I write in her journal. Although the sadness is not all encompassing, she is always with me, because she changed me. Forever.
I miss her. And on days like today, when I allow myself to actually sit back and feel how much I miss her, I think I may miss her more than anyone has ever missed anyone else.
Today is Rory’s birthday. And she would be three.