Don't get me wrong, there are days I find happiness, but there is a layer of sadness hidden behind every smile, every laugh, every new memory I make.
When you invite me to your baby shower, I will politely decline. I am happy for you, but I will never see Noelle with a rounded belly. She, who loved babies, will never hold one to her breast. That knowledge causes an ache in my heart that would cast a pall on your special day. As you open packages of diapers and onesies, imagining how adorable the new baby will look in it's many new outfits, my mind will be drifting to the last outfit she wore on this earth. It sounds terribly morbid, but I can't share your happiness on that day. I will be missing my own baby too much.
Each year, you or your children will celebrate a birthday. They will grow and continue to experience life. Noelle won't. I will cry on your birthday, wishing she was the one blowing out the candles.
Each semester of college, new apartments, new jobs...I am so proud of you for accomplishing these things. Please don't for a minute think I begrudge you for living while she is gone. I just wish she was experiencing these things with you. And I will cry.