Two years seems like an eternity ago and then sometimes it seems like just yesterday. It feels like so long since I held Anne Marie, and yet it doesn’t feel like it was 2 years ago that I was planning what our Christmas in Dallas would be like, not knowing that we wouldn’t be there for Christmas.
Lots of people have asked me if Oliver helps with the loss of Anne Marie. The answer to that is yes. And no. Having a baby just seems to make any situation better and Oliver makes us laugh and smile. We watch his funny faces and expressions. We cheer when he does something cute. We run to pick him up and snuggle him when he cries. I remember when he was just about 6 weeks old and I was standing over his bed. He was looking up at me and kicking his little legs and smiling and I laughed out loud because I was so happy. I have laughed a lot in my life – at things my kids have done, in various conversations with people, when someone says something funny, at the movies, etc., but I can’t ever remember a time when I was all alone and I spontaneously laughed out loud just because I was so happy. So yes, Oliver has made us happy and we are grateful for him.
But as grateful as I am for all my children and no matter how happy they all make me, the simple fact is I miss Anne Marie. I just miss her. And there isn’t anything this side of heaven that will make me not miss her. The ache I have for her is still there and the thought of saying goodbye to her makes me cry every time I think about it. In some ways Oliver has made me miss her more. I sit and rock Oliver and cry because I am so thankful for him and also because I was never able to rock Anne Marie.
I think today will always be a sad day for me. I will remember wanting so desperately to change things – to change the storyline that God was writing, to stop things from happening so fast so we could have just a little more time with her. I will remember having to leave Children’s without our baby girl and the emptiness I felt. And I will remember Anne Marie’s soft, sweet face and in my sadness I will smile at that memory and give thanks for what a gift she was. And I will also remember God’s sustaining mercy and grace that has never failed and continues to hold me up each day.
Anne Marie, can I ever say it enough? How much we love you and how much we miss you. I am thankful for you and not a day goes by that I don’t think of you.