It was back to the sobbing-in-bed-at-night-in-the-dark type of crying, with the pillow over my face, trying not to wake my husband. I honestly don't understand it, but I suppose it's somewhat normal.
My husband and I weren't sure what we were supposed to do on her birthday. It's obviously not a happy occasion, she isn't one year old.
Instead it's one year of emptiness.
One year of bathing my daughter and seeing two little girls sitting in the tub.
One year of holding hands around the dinner table, picturing Isabel in the empty spot.
One year of making small talk with people about absolutely nothing important.
One year of feeling guilty about whatever it was I did in the early weeks of my pregnancy.
One year of fighting back tears.
One year of wrestling with God.
Here we are after Isabel's graveside service.
Not a good day.
Two of the kids were sick, it was extremely hot, my milk was coming in and we had just buried our daughter.
Approximately one year later on Isabel's birthday. My husband took me to a nice spanish restaurant we've always wanted to go to. It was a sober and sweet night. We hadn't been out together alone for ages, and now there was so much more between us.
Like soldiers who had gone through a bloody battle together, we had gone through that terrible experience clinging to each other. All of the doctor appointments, ultrasounds, the grim prognosis, the fear of facing the reality of giving birth to our daughter and then watching her die. The memories of all of that and that hellish night hung like a thick fog between us, all unspoken.
We remembered and still hurt.
But the Lord had brought us through it.
In the end, we concluded that we were wrong. It shouldn't have just been us. Next year and all the years that follow, our whole family will dress up and go out together to acknowledge Isabel's birthday and honor her as a member of our family. To remember that one day we will see her in Heaven.
So what else have we been up to in the last year?
Papa took up running. He ran his first half marathon in June and is training for his first full marathon this fall. He's also lost about 45 pounds and looks great.
And me? I suppose I've knit my way through miles of yarn. These are some socks I knit for little Jewel. She is one of the new babies at church.