Today is my mom's birthday. Lucy's Nana. Lucy loved her Nana. She loved Nana's dog Truman too. She recognized Nana's neighborhood from the second we turned onto her street and she'd start to kick her feet with delight. Nana's house was the best because Lucy could jump in her Johnny Jumper in an extra wide doorway. Plenty of room to spin and bounce. She was a maniac. A total pro. Between the Johnny Jumper and chasing Truman around (who she called "men"), she just loved being with Nana and Poppa.
Going to Nana's also meant time with cousins Ethan and Bailey. Ethan and Lucy just adored each other. And Bailey and Lucy...well, let's just say they were trying to learn how to "share" and other life lessons of toddlerhood.
Here she is holding a picture of Ethan taken on his first Halloween. She loved that photo. If he wasn't there to play with, she would play with his picture.
And with her favorite little stool that Nana made. She just loved that thing!
I'm grateful Lucy got to spend special time with her Nana. From being a newborn who wouldn't sleep through the night, to getting into salt and altoids in the kitchen, Lucy and Nana had some great times together. I know Lucy is grateful to her Nana for not only taking care of her and loving her, but taking care of her mommy too.
Not only is it Nana's birthday today, it is two months since we said goodbye to Lucy. My whole being hurts with the remembering. Without even knowing what the date is, my body is somehow aware and reminded of all we went through that day. There is something about the anniversary, another four weeks survived, that brings back the flood of emotions. If I never had a calendar, I would still know when another month went by, it just lives inside of you. My body and spirit know, even if my brain doesn't.
I will never forget holding Lucy in her hospital bed as they wheeled us down the hallway to the operating room so they could remove her organs. They moved all the machines and chords out of the way so I could sit in the middle of the bed and hold her in my arms one last time. The doctor next to me held the manual respiratory and pumped it while we slowly walked along, Vic's hand on mine the entire time. He was so noble and kind to honor my role as mother and let me be the last one to hold her. I will always be grateful for that. When we reached the yellow line on the floor and weren't allowed to go any further, I kissed her cheeks, kissed her mouth, smoothed her hair, and sent her home to Heavenly Father through a wall of tears. It was horrible and sweet. Something out of a movie. Every time I walk by a mirror, I glance over to see whose reflection I will find. Surely it won't be mine, because this couldn't really be my life. But it's always still just me. Not a movie star, not an angel, just me. But I am Lucy's mom. And if I can live up to honoring her, that will be the only reflection I want to see in the mirror. Being her mother, knowing I was trusted to take care of such a special spirit, knowing I will see her again and that she is right here with me...that will become the reality of what I see looking back at me. But for now, I mostly see pain, hurt, and confusion. I think in time, I will see what Lucy and Heavenly Father want me to see when I look in the mirror. For now, I am relying on loved ones to remind me.
After this final goodbye, the first person waiting for me was my mom. Lucy's Nana. We walked to the nearest chair in silence together. I sat in her lap and cried. A 30 yr. old woman and her mommy. She just held me. Next to Lucy's birth, it was the sweetest moment in my life. The veil was so thin. So today, as I honor Lucy and remember what took place two months ago, I also honor her Nana. Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you. Because you gave birth to me, I was able to give birth to Lucy. And we will never be the same after knowing her. Two months down and a lifetime to go, but it will be the sweetest reunion in history.
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