This post is part of the Right Where I Am Project.
One year, six months, and twenty seven days without Violet. An eternity and a blink of an eye.
Yesterday, my husband and I were driving together. We had lots of time to talk, just the two of us, without answering the endless 3-year-old inquiries from the backseat. D was sleeping, hot and sweaty. E was riding in a different vehicle with our family, entertaining them with her Gangnam Style dancing. I don't remember the initial context, but Violet came up.
We began by talking about her heart. It was turned incorrectly and in the wrong spot in her teeny, tiny chest. He asked me to remind him of how much she weighed. We marveled about the fact that one chromosome could mess up so much about her. We recalled our reactions to the worst news of our lives, both from our own perspective and witnessing it in each other. But most of all, we discussed our survival.
Reflecting back, it seems so foreign that we drove to the hospital that morning, knowing our girl would be born and begin to die. It was a death sentence for us as well. We knew what we were facing, yet we calmly drove together just as we were doing yesterday. Looking at it after, we can almost imagine what our friends and family felt watching us from their slightly removed perspective. We are just as astonished at our survival as you must be.
Yet here we are, one year, six months, and twenty seven days later. The inevitable happened. She took her last breath in my husband's arms with me sitting in front of her facing the both of them. Somehow we prepared her to go to the funeral home. Somehow we gathered our things and ourselves and left that room the next day without her. Somehow we picked up her ashes two days later and welcomed her back into our home. Somehow we've navigated a rainbow pregnancy and welcomed her little brother into our hearts, so different, yet so entwined with her that it takes my breath away.
I am pretty certain that I have PSTD but I have no official diagnosis yet.
I want, more than anything, for others to speak her name. The desire for this aches inside of me.
I find her everywhere. Just yesterday, a violet scented car air freshener for sale in a seaside souvenir shop. The day before that, the deodorant I selected was sweet pea and violet. My daughter has become a flower and a fragrance and a memory.
She is still my daughter.
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