How is it possible that this dreadful anniversary is here? I don't like the word Hate, but it is the only word that properly describes how I feel about time right now. I can't even describe how hollow and lonely my heart feels when I think that it has been six months since I have been able to feel, hold, kiss, smell, talk to, bathe, kiss, snuggle, dress, sooth, sing to, rock, take for a walk, take a picture of, the list goes on, with Tatum. There just aren't words. I think that today I would give anything to have her back. I thought that I would never say that because I would never want her to suffer again, and I think that it would crush me to have to repeat these last six months. I just miss her that much. It sounds so selfish, and it is. My heart just hurts.
I have been thinking a lot the last few days about where I am today. A sort of self evaluation. I still think about Tatum almost every minute. I know that sounds like an exaggeration, but sadly it is not. I still occasionally sleep in her spot on the couch. I still put on her chap stick several times a day. Her crib is still up in our room, full of her things. Her car seat is still in our room along with the pillow that she used to sleep on. Her clothes are still in her dresser. I still carry the oxygen mask that we had to use on her the last time that we were in my Pediatricians office in my purse. I still have several of her appointment cards from her doctors in my purse. I still have the bar on the stroller that was a conversion for her car seat. I know that all of these things probably make me seem a little crazy, but it is what makes me feel like she is still here and that we are not forgetting her. I did not suffer with this as bad with Trevin. I don't know why. I just can't seem to part with some of these things and the thought of changing them makes me crazy. So for now this is how it will stay.
The better part of my self evaluation is in my actual "self". I actually feel like I am doing very well. I think all of the things above are "normal" and they don't really bother me, because of how I feel inside. My knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ has never felt stronger. My capacity to love has increased ten fold. I feel calmer as a mother, friend, wife, etc. I don't get as "ruffled" as I used to. I see the big picture a little clearer. I am calm when I think about the Second Coming, in fact I am excited for it. I feel a little kinder towards myself and others. I have not watched much TV in the last six months, which has been amazing. I listen to softer more beautiful music every day, which has changed my soul. It is easier to take time for people and relationships. I am more focused on the things that affect the eternities. I feel more grateful. I am more aware of time and how precious it is. I feel and see the Savior and my Heavenly Father in my life every single day. Overall I just feel softer, more calm and content. I am still really human. This is an overall picture. I still lose my temper and forget all of these things, but it is easier for me to regain these feelings than before Tates.
This has been a very long six months, but I am grateful for the growth that I have felt individually and for the growth of my family. We are all so imperfect, but I know that because of the experiences that we have had in the past year we are forever changed and better, and more focused on what is most important.
Last night Lance and I went shopping for the kids' Christmas Eve pajamas. A tradition that we have had for lots of years. As I walked into Hilary's department my heart just sank. Last year I got the girls matching polk a dot (or cooka dot in Hilary language) jammies. It hit me that I only needed one pair of little girl jammies. Something as simple as purchasing pajamas can turn into something so sad. I found some cute polar bear ones that she will love cause she really likes panda bears and polar bears.
I couldn't really decide what I wanted to do for this weird anniversary day. I felt a little paralyzed. I wanted to do something meaningful and something that would show Tatum how much we love her and miss her, but I could come up with nothing. About a week ago I realized that a couple that I had worked with at the hospital when their little girl died several years ago, were having their newly adopted little girl sealed to them in the LDS Temple. This is a very sweet and personal ceremony and I was so honored that they had invited me to be there with them. As this day started growing near I decided that the Temple would be a great place for me to be on this day. So that was really my only plan for the day. I actually allowed myself to sleep in, very unusual. I ran on the treadmill for a bit then I got ready. As I was getting ready I decided that I wanted to take Hilary to the park because it was such a beautiful day. Halea and Heidi came with us. I thought this was another great thing to do on this day.
Yeah, she is amazing. What a thoughtful and insightful young woman. Tatum has surely changed us all. If I could teach this girl to clean up her room and bathroom I'd keep her home forever!
So there I was, tearing up in Little Caesars. Awkward.
This is what she posted on Thanksgiving:
She is so thoughtful.
The last thing that I got to do was finish a book. I need to document this very momentous occasion. I rarely actually finish a book. I read this book in less than a week. It was the Elizabeth Smart book. It was so very sad, but so uplifting to know how resilient the human spirit is. We can truly overcome anything if we put our faith in the Savior. I know that, and so does she. At the end of the book she talks about her recovery process. She is a very wise young lady. When she was found and finally home, her mother told her that she had to choose to be happy and to not let those evil people steal one more second of her life from her. She has obviously taken that advice and she talks a little bit about happiness and carrying on is a choice. I am such a believer in that. I cannot even compare what I am experiencing to what she has been through, but I do relate with that choice. I try really hard to make the choice to be happy and feel the joy that life brings. I am trying really hard to appreciate all of the good that has come from this difficult year because it is countless. I am grateful for the miracles I have seen and the changes that have come. Forever in our hearts, sweet Tatum and Trevin.