It's that time of the year again.
The leaves turn amber, and the calender veers toward November, and suddenly I am seeing her dates everywhere. Events, meetings, and more are scheduled on the day she died, and the day she was born.
And every time, it shocks me. An electric current running through my bones, and my breath catches and my insides twist, and that part of me that is hollow because of her absence echoes more loudly.
I thought that the first year of grief, of not-having-her, would be the worst. But now, as we stare down what would have been her second birthday, I am not so sure.
Because last year, I was distracted. My arms were full, at last, of the sweetest bundle of baby boy I could ever have hoped for. My eyes were on him, rightly so, and so when her day came my mama soul was too busy (and exhausted) to mark it well.
But now, he has grown up a bit and we're all sleeping a lot more, and suddenly I find myself thinking that this is going to be our hardest year, because it will be the first year when we have the space to fully feel her missing presence.
I am not looking forward to this.
And, somehow, I am. Because although it burns, this pain is proof of her life, and of my love for both my children.
I don't know how to end this. Perhaps because I am out of practice, because I haven't written of my daughter in quite some time. Or perhaps because there is no ending. There is no neat answer for the grief that stretches out before me, threading its coarse but vibrant color through the tapestry that is the remainder of my life, because the only thing that could snap that thread short is Eve returning to our family in living flesh. And that is an impossibility.
So I will not-end this post by saying that I cling to hope, that I always remember and miss her, and that her life has made me a better mother to her brother, to our precious, precious boy who somehow became a toddler in the blink of an eye.
The road goes ever on, and I have no choice but to walk it or to stop and sit and deny her life and death and the hole in my heart that can heal but never close.
I'd rather walk, though the path is steep and winding. Let's walk together.