Last year we purposefully planned Lauren's 1st birthday party on Saturday the 15th in an effort to hide the pain of the day and instead celebrate the life and joy that came on the 16th. It worked okay. This year we did the same thing, her birthday party was on Sunday the 15th. I don't know what we'll do next year when the 15th falls on a week day!
I held it together for most of the day and pushed away the thoughts as quickly as they arrived. I was getting her dressed after her bath when it finally hit me and I couldn't hold it back any longer. The tears flooded and I was overwhelmed with the feelings of pain all over again. I hate crying in front of Reagan because it is not fair to her.
Then a stuffed animal caught my eye that was laying on her bed, just a few inches from her head. The bear was given to my sweet girl as a Christmas present from her grandmother's best friend. The bear belonged to the lady's daughter, who was a teenager when she passed away almost 15 years ago from complications of cystic fibrosis. I was touched when she gave the gift to Reagan, it was such a sweet and selfless act of kindness. She said Reagan reminded her of her own daughter, who was also blonde, tall and thin.
The sight of the gift reminded me to be thankful and appreciate the moments. I could no longer feel sorry for myself and cry for our situation while my daughter was laying there and I could love on her instead, knowing that there are mother's who would give anything for the same opportunity. Yes, I still feel the pain and the loss of the dreams that I had for my girl and diagnosis day is always going to hurt, some years probably more than others. But I am thankful of the gift this mother gave me, the gift to treasure each day.
I've decided that he should sleep in her bed and be her guardian angel.