These months later

by steve

Steel yourself. Easter’s here and you remember what happened at Christmas. Holidays are hard. That’s what they say. I have to be ready in case I don’t enjoy the bunnies and candy and egg dying as much. The resurrection might not be as glorious this year. The hymns less triumphant. Wait for it.

<Silence.>

The Easter holiday wasn’t bad. It wasn’t that much worse because Anna wasn’t here. Maybe that’s not true as evidenced by the tears running down my face as as I type those words. Tears that make it hard to breathe and almost impossible to cry out loud. Maybe I didn’t miss her as much as I did at Christmas. Maybe I missed her in a different way. Maybe I didn’t miss her enough last weekend. Maybe it was ok to wait until a few days after the holiday to miss her this time. To break down and sob out loud while home alone. To cry in a way that affirms how much I do … these months later … miss that child. My child. OUR child. That precious, smiley bundle of love that I had already dreamed a life for.

Nora and Henry help every day. They are incredible children (and I am a proud father who, without any doing of my own, is so thankful for their incredible talents, personalities and the joy that they bring to me and the world.) They are a source of inspiration and joy that helps to fill the void that Anna’s life has left. To watch them grow and learn and smile and love and just be … to simply exist, satisfies and fulfills the soul. Concurrently there is a little pang of, “what if Anna …” It’s a quiet voice. A murmur that persists in a very subtle way … usually in the quiet times of life. My answer to that is simple: What if Anna had died in surgery or another way two weeks or two years or two decades later? What if there was blame to be laid that would drive apart our family instead of entwining our hearts and souls even more. There are many dark places that question could lead. What if? What if Anna was meant to be with us a little while. To encourage us and challenge us and help us to grow. To inspire us to be better and then, without suffering, to pass on to a perfect place. A place where we can look forward to being reunited with her.

The hundreds of bulbs that were planted last year the day Anna was interred were all just about to bloom with a few rouge daffodils opening just before Easter Sunday. The spring weather shining down–painting the “before” picture of a hundred flowers blooming … as Jenn planned … for Anna. Welcoming her memory to the season she was born into. This is Easter wasn’t so bad. Not because I’m pain free and “over it.” But because the resurrection, the triumph over the grave will allow me to someday join my Anna angel again. That’s what the words “He is risen!” meant to me this Easter.

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4 comments.

  1. Being witness to your extraordinary family as you’ve grown & grieve is my blessing.

    Your talents and personality shine through your children. They are wonderful because of you and your amazing bride.

    Your words are wise and warm. Proud to know you, friend.

  2. He is risen indeed! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you found peace in the promise of Easter. Praying that your home is filled with much joy as healing continues and love fills emptiness.

  3. So moved by your writings.. so blessed to have you in our family.

  4. I’ve been thinking about you all as Anna’s birtday and mother’s day arrives–seems like a lot to handle in one weekend. Through the employee giving part of my job, I have given to several charities this year that were named after babies that left their family way too soon. While each one makes me sad, it also makes me realize that Anna has amazingly good company to giggle with, to tease and to share stories about her family. Those babies, just like Anna, brought bouquets of joy to their families. So here is to Anna on her birthday, Jenn on Mother’s Day and Nora and Henry for just being kids. Okay, and Steve for the amazing blog above, which fills my heart with flowers. xo, laura mae

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