It was a year ago I managed to write about Psalm's birth and death, so I suppose it's fitting that, a week after her first birthday, I am just now able to write about it.
The day kind of came out of nowhere and loomed over everything all at once. Like, I knew it was coming but I didn't really want to face it.
I was afraid all along last year that I would forget what it was like to hold her, would forget what she looked like, would forget the feel of her hair on my fingers and of her skin and of her beauty. And I kind of did but kind of didn't. It's not something that comes out of nowhere but if I concentrate I can remember all of these things.
Facebook's On This Day feature reminded me of how fucking horrible it was to wake up the morning of the 25th and not have her with me and realize she was beyond my reach for the rest of my time on this earth. And the truth is it wasn't much easier on day 365 of that than it was on day one. I've gotten to where I cannot easily picture her as a living baby, and that makes me sad. There are too many unknowns now. Marie had dark hair and then it fell out and she had blonde hair and then it darkened to brown. She had blue eyes that darkened to storm-tossed gray and then to brown. Would Psalm have followed the same path? Or would she have kept her brown hair? There's just no way to know, and it's the unknowns that get you.
All these other moms seem to do these awesome things on their baby's birthday. They do shit like release butterflies and balloons or light candles or do random acts of kindness. And I am not that sort of person; I don't do big over-the-top stuff with my living kids. So I was thinking I'd just kind of hold her in my heart but I'd like to light a candle but it turns out it's a bitch to find non-scented candles these days.
So the day before her birthday I got the brilliant idea of asking the kids what they wanted to do. It ended pretty much as I should have expected, with Bobbie being insensitive and Esther in tears. There was also an odd bit of time where I had to explain to the toddlers that, yes, Psalm is in our closet but no, you cannot see her because it's just her ashes. She doesn't look exactly the same. Still, it pleases me that the toddlers do think of her and do realize she's their sister.
Anyway, Esther said she wanted a cake and Marie said she wanted a balloon, so the next day Erik and I went to HEB and I picked out a small cake from the bakery and a small balloon and then bought a birthday card and a candle and totally forgot to buy a lighter for the candle because I was hoping no one decided to ask me whose birthday it was so I wouldn't have to explain that it was my dead daughter's birthday.
I'd had a dream the night before where we did all this and I bought her a card as well, so for some reason I had to go and do that. There's not much of a selection at that store, and it's mostly Disney crap for first birthdays, so I went and looked in the bargain section, and that's when I found this:
And I had to have it the second I read it. I didn't even read the inside until today, but it talks about people thinking of you. Which I guess, with Psalm, is all we can really do.
And so a year has passed, and I am lost as before.