Happy Birthday Mia Rose.
You would have been 4 years old today, August 10th, but you left so suddenly and so unexpectedly.
I know it’s been 4 years and maybe I should have moved on, moved past or otherwise just moved, but some days I find it hard to do, well, anything. I still have the snippets of images in my mind when I reflect, quick flashes of memory that can take me from normal to an emotional wreck in .25seconds. It’s changed me. Your life changed me.
I think of all the milestones you would have had, walking, talking, temper tantrums, special simple moments, that didn’t happen. I wish I had reported the nurse who we think killed you, but the shock and trauma of it all had rendered us numb. It’s like I let you down and now can’t forgive myself for it.
At least we’ll always have those small quiet moments where your Mom and I would just hold vigil in your little room. The nurse would leave us alone in there with you, giving us some space to be a family. It was dark in there, lit only by the blue bili lights and we would talk and dream about our future, your future. We knew you heard us as you would calm down and seem to rest easy hearing those voices you knew so well if only for a short time, the voices of you parents. I treasure those moments. When things were calm. When things were hopeful.
All too often though I forget those special moments and remember the sheer terror of running into the NICU seeing them doing half-hearted CPR. It was so bright in that room, thing were washed out by all the light streaming in but all I could see was your lifeless body and them looking at me. I remember the pity on their faces, the pain they mirrored when they asked if I wanted them to continue. I had to tell them to stop. I let them stop. I didn’t want to, but I knew it was far too late. When you died, so did a little bit of me. And I’ve had an empty hole ever since.
There’s still something missing in our lives. Our life would have been nearly perfect with you in it, complete. There are days where the rage is palpable, the sadness suffocating, the hopelessness immobilizing and I get into a funk so deep that all I want to do is hide in our house and bury myself into TV, praying to numb myself. Perhaps this year is harder as I stopped the antidepressants, so I’m finally feeling the emotions again. And while it feels good to feel again, it’s not easy.
But I’m trying to focus on the good. You were with us for 8 days. And what an impression you made. Even though you were so young and so fragile, we could see your personality beginning to develop, our tiny little individual. I’m lucky to have known you, one might say blessed (although I hate saying that I’m “blessed”…). So I’m going to minimize the bad while remembering the good.
Happy Birthday baby girl! We’ll never forget!