Our Blessings

Thursday, May 23, 2013

missing her

I spent part of tonight cleaning out an old "catch-all" drawer. (some might like to call that a junk drawer, but it's not junk to me, as you will see.)  It's in Kathlyn/Glory's room, the top drawer of one of her dressers.  And let's face it, I need the room for all her clothes.  I started putting instruction manuals to the baby equipment, spare parts, spare buttons, warranty information, recall information, cards, letters, a few old picture frames, stuff from my baby shower like an extra paper plate and a napkin, the invitation, the deck of cards from the shower game we played.  I knew all that stuff was in there.  But what I'd forgotten about was this large file envelope of receipts.

I still need the instructions to most of that stuff and the warranty info because Glory is either still using it or we're gonna use it for the next baby, so it's good to have that stuff around.  It's not really as heartwrenching to see those manuals because we have been using the equipment itself for so long.  It's all Glory's now, but it was Kathlyn's first and whether she is here or not, I know she wouldn't mind sharing.

The thing that gets me about the receipts is that they are all dated.  Most of them dated in April 2009.  I was 6 months pregnant, knew it was a girl, and about to have my baby shower so I got a lot of gifts in the mail.  The stroller system from my mom.  Giraffe bouncer from my SIL Jessica.  Baby Monitor and a little bath toy from John's cousins.  Some yellow and white neutral onesies I ordered myself.  I remember getting all of that stuff and being so excited.  I had no idea.  No idea what was ahead.  I was a lovefool and I was DEEPLY in love, and yet DEEPLY fooled.

I threw those receipts away because I have no use for them now.  No reason to return and way past the limit of time to return anyway.  I got my rainbow baby and I got to use all my baby stuff.  The receipts just take up space in a drawer or box now. But it still stings.  It's still hard to throw away something that represents part of her life.  Part of her life where she was ALIVE.

I never got a receipt for Kathlyn.  I want to return that part of my life and get a new one, one where she lives instead of dies.  Apparently I saved every receipt "just in case" something was wrong.  I never thought there'd be something wrong with the baby.  Except there wasn't.. there was NOTHING wrong with her and yet she slipped away from me... slipped through more than my fingers, she slipped away from my whole body, and took the majority of me with her.

I miss her so much.  I never even got to know a fraction of who she was gonna be, but I miss her more than any human has the capacity to do.  My grief is part of my every day life.  I ache for her and her abscense still affects our marriage.  I miss Kathlyn in everything I do with Glory, too.  It's not fair to her either.  They would have been such a sweet pair.  At the park today there was another little girl who liked Glory's little push car.  She told us she just turned 4 years old, which means she was born about the time I was getting all those receipts collected.  She wanted to get in the car, but her grandma told her she was too big (I would have let her). so instead she pushed the car while Glory was in it.  Her grandma said, "you're going to be such a good big sister when you're new baby gets here!" and I was thinking, Glory would have been such a great little sister.  She doesn't know what she's missing yet.  I can miss her enough for the both of us.

I packed away the rest of the contents of the drawer.. the instructions, the cards, the baby shower stuff.  Some day I can look through and read the cards from her shower again.  With messages and sweet cliches about congratulations and how they can't wait to meet her and how I'm gonna be a great mommy and she's gonna be so cute.

She would have.  And I would have.  It would have been wonderful.  I know because it's what I have with Glory.  I know what I missed with Kathlyn, and I know how very blessed I am to have Glory.  I hope she gets to have a sister on this side some day, that she gets to grow up with.  But then I'm sure I will still be upset that they didn't get to be a group of three.  Is having 66% of your children here with you, better than having 50% ?  Or is having 75% of them better?

I want 100% of them.  And I can't ever have that.

It would have been wonderful.