I remember what I was wearing a year ago today, not because the outfit itself was anything special, but because the doctor complimented me on it minutes before she told me you had died. I remember a lot of things about that day: splashing in the baby pool with your sister in the morning, when everything seemed bright and cheerful and pleasantly normal; the tissues somebody at the doctor's office handed me, crumpled into sodden balls in my hands; and the long drive home alone to find your Daddy and sister, knowing I'd have to tell them that you were gone.
It's been a long year, a year full of grieving and questioning, of medical tests and procedures, a year of watching your sister grow up, of thinking oh-so-often of what it would be like if you were here with her, with all of us. It's been a hard year. There were many months where I missed you so much that I wondered if I'd ever truly be able to feel joy again. Today, I want you to know that I have, that with time, the grief has lessened a bit, created little spaces for joy to grow.
But I also want you to know that though grieving no longer defines each of my days, my love for you has not lessened. I wish this post was about your six month birthday, about the delight (or perhaps horror) on your face when I stuck your tiny toes in the baby pool for the first time, about your first tastes of solid food. I wish this post was about the knowing of you instead of the hole that not knowing you has left.
I miss you Avaleen. I trust what I cannot understand, that somehow goodness triumphs even in your death, that someday we will see how even our pain is part of a beautiful story bigger than either of us. I believe this, but I still miss the delight I know it would've been to watch you grow. I'm so sorry I never got to hold you. One day, I hope, one day.