I laid in my bed last night for hours. I held my eyes open as long as I could to see your face. When the burning from the tears forced them shut, I just listened to your voice. I’ve heard you say the same things over and over, thousands of times, but I don’t mind. Not that I have a choice; it’s all I have left.
The wet cotton pillowcase was cold against my cheek and I pictured you laying next to me, your forehead to mine, the way you always use to fall asleep. In that moment, I didn’t think of who you would be, what you would look like, or the things you would say as you entered a new year of life. But instead, I saw you as my perfect two-and-a-half year old daughter, snuggled in close to me, peacefully breathing in and out.
You see, although I wish every day that you could see another day, another year, grow up and grow old, last night I just needed you.
I needed you the way you were.
I needed us the way we were.
Today I’ll stop pretending that I am fine and that everything is okay. Today I’ll allow myself to break down and give up. Today I will watch the pieces of my heart hit the floor and then lay down amongst them with my knees to my chest. I won’t try to pick them up and put them back together however they will fit. I won’t cry in the shower then put on my mask along with my make up. I won’t say things just to make others feel more comfortable with my situation. If I don’t want to, I wont say anything at all.
When she took her first breath, she changed the weight of the world around me. She changed the way I saw, the way I spoke, the way I thought.
She even changed my name.
Chelsey became foreign. Mommy was the only name I ever needed;the only one that made sense now.
I knew, looking into the eyes of this tiny, wrinkly, brand new human, that every moment of pain, every moment of heart-break and unsteadiness that I had ever felt had led me here, to this moment, and it was worth it; every bit, a million times over, it was worth it.
December 5th might be a day I wonder who she would be. I wonder what kind of mother to a 6 year old that I would be. It may be a day that fills me with yearning for a future that will never exist. But today is also the day I get to pop the champagne, surround my self with people I love, be silly and playful and eat all the food. Today I’ll toast to the life that she had and I’ll thank her for the love that she unconditionally gave to me and to so many others. I will remember that I was the one who had the honour of being her mother. And I’ll re live the day that the most important 6lbs and 10oz was placed in my arms.
6 years ago today, on December the 5th, at 12:25pm, I held you tight to my chest and whispered, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for you.”
…and now, my sweet girl, I’ll wait the rest, hoping that one day you will be in my arms again.
Happy Birthday, Lilee-Jean