I can’t believe it’s almost been 2 years. Actually, 23 months today, to be exact.
I wish I could say that Caroline’s looming birthday wasn’t weighing heavy on my heart, but it is. I’ve been finding myself crying more than I had been, talking about her even more than normal, and missing her so badly it keeps me up in the night. I daydream about what she would be like, how tall she would be, if she’d like broccoli, if she’d like music, if she’d like me.
This week, Addalee took her first steps. It was so sweet. Her little chubby feet, placed clumsily one in front of the other, while we cheered for her. She only took a few steps because she had to stop and cheer for herself! All the while, I was crying like a baby. Bittersweet.
I wasn’t really a weepy, highly emotional person until we lost Caroline. Now, I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I’m sad. I cry when I’m mad. And sometimes, I just cry. It’s not something that I love. But I do love that I feel things and appreciate the life I have, and the life I get to have with my child(ren).
While I love getting to see Addalee grow up, it always strikes me when she hits milestones that I missed every.single.one. of them with her big sister. We missed everything from her first cry, to those sweet first steps. And I still think of all of those new experiences that we didn’t have, almost 2 years later.
I met a woman when Addalee and I were out shopping today. She had to stop and tell me that Addalee was pretty (Thank you, we certainly think she is!). Her daughter-in-law is expecting their first grandbaby, she’s 14 weeks along and they’re so excited. I know that story. I lived that story, until it stopped. I was pleasant; I talked about how exciting it is to find out the gender, I shared about shopping for a much anticipated baby, and some of the baby items that we appreciated. Somehow, she came up. Somehow, and I don’t even remember how, I told her of my Caroline. Her face dropped and she took a step back from me. With a horrified face, she told me how sorry she was, and then said, “What did you do? I mean, did you have a funeral? For your baby, how…I mean, how do you do that?” Honestly, I’ve gotten fairly comfortable talking about Caroline and our experiences surrounding my pregnancy with her, delivery, funeral, etc. But I was honestly a little surprised that this is where our conversation had taken this turn. I really thought I’d heard about all there was to hear from people who are blindsided by my sad story. Guess not. Maybe we’ll just stay in tomorrow!