This morning I unexpectedly had exactly fifteen minutes between the time I got out of bed and the time I walked into the boys' school to start a subbing job. Troy had agreed to take the boys to school this morning. I had plans to clean my house but, really, I assumed that I'd just stay in bed for a good long while wallowing in my own self pity. I was well on my way to doing just that when I found out that the school needed a kindergarten substitute. My absolute favorite grade to sub for is kindergarten. My favorite school to sub at is my boys' school. So I launched myself out of my own sadness and into some leggings and a sweater. Fifteen minutes later, I signed in at the school. (Because I'm a rock star at getting ready really fast.)
It ended up being the perfect distraction.
I don't know why the one month mark of Kate's stillbirth seems so monumental to me. Maybe because it feels like it was yesterday and I just can't understand how so much time has passed. Maybe it's because life is returning to the normal we knew before Kate came into our lives and that seems somehow comforting and entirely devastating all at the same time. Maybe it just doesn't seem fair that for an entire month I've lived without the idea of what she would have been.
I miss her. I want to be rejoicing that my daughter is due in three weeks. Instead, I am mourning that we lost her four and a half weeks ago. I want to talk about her. All the time I want to remind people that she existed and she brought us joy and she was real and alive even though I never felt her heart beat or listened to her breathe. When someone mentions my baby, it doesn't really make me sad. It makes me glad that she touched lives beyond our family. There isn't much time, ever, that I'm not thinking of her.
When we first held her, I didn't post any pictures. In part, it was because I was protective of her and in part, it was because I didn't know if people would have a problem with seeing them. But the picture I took of my husband and our daughter has become--probably--my most favorite picture of him ever. I've looked at it so many times in these past weeks and I want to share it.
When we first got there, we both took pictures. We look miserable. We were miserable. I am not going to share those because they are just too vulnerable. We were so raw and broken. But, after some time had gone by, we were able to settle in to the experience, to embrace it and feel more than just grief. I suppose that, really, we were able to feel some small bit of joy; incredible thankfulness to have those memories and those moments.
This man. He loves his children. And I love him all the more for the way he held the most fragile of them.
My favorite part of the picture of Kate and me is the way the light is shining through the window onto us. It's as though the God of all comfort is hemming us in.
I can still feel the way she fit into my arms. As though she was always meant for them and never meant for them all at once. But for a moment, she was there and we were there. And in all of the sadness, it was good.
Life has a way of marching on, even when you don't want it to. The world continues to spin even when it feels like it's standing still. A month has gone by even though it feels like a day.