What are memories? Most would say a happy time of reflection? For the purpose of this blog post, let’s just say ‘a time’ of reflection. Who said your memoirs had to be happy? Don’t get me wrong, I believe in happy endings. I believe my children and I are destined for a life filled with happiness, and that while our tragedy has shaped us, it will not define us.
For me, some of the most prominent memories are the most painful ones. I wish I could sit here and write about happier times, but I must admit the darker memories are what make me stronger, challenge me to my core, and provide valuable lessons. They are the ones that make me grow. I choose to remember, no matter how much it hurts.
So I’ll share a memory, of exactly four years ago today, when my daughter was born. I have re-lived this moment over and over, especially on her birthday and days after, when her daddy, my husband of five years, fought for his life…for us.
Our daughter was one day old when we got the news that his 6 week fight with cancer had taken an ultimate turn for the worse. There really are no words for those next few days,
Once the fog lifted, and my ‘memory’ came back to me…flooding back I might say….the bittersweetness of that time was re-lived. Celebrating her first birthday was regretfully a painful memory of the end…
Remembering the day she was born,
One breath to say hello and goodbye
No time to hold, our hearts torn
Trying to keep it together, it’s her special day
Our miracle, your legacy, she’s one
I wrote this poem on her first birthday. And I also made her a promise. That maybe not the first year, and maybe not the second, but I promised her I would close that gap, so we can celebrate her life and not associate the time of her birth with her daddy’s death.
The best gift I can ever give her is to ensure she knows that her daddy held her, loved her and that he very much wanted to stay…but had to go.
And before the day is done, I will write out her first, second, third and now fourth birthday cards (an honour I could not face through past birthdays) with loving memories of her first four years.
Today, I will embrace the memory, find strength in my tears and celebrate her life.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful baby girl xo