I've been struggling.
I'm sleeping poorly.
I'm having bad dreams.
Tears are coming more frequently.
I'm trying my best to count my blessings...but this time of year everything just seems to get a little bit harder. I find myself torn between emotions--overjoyed at the thought of celebrating our first Christmas with Harrison, yet full of heartache as we face a second without his big sister. Memories of Charlotte and her first (and only) Christmas surround us as we prepare our home for the holidays--her ornaments on the tree, her stocking on the mantle, our Charley Bear angel perched atop our tree watching over us. I know that she is with us, but that doesn't change the fact that I will always and forever want more.
Saturday night, with Matt in Chicago and Harrison sleeping soundly, I found myself in one of those "I need to be busy or might drive myself crazy" kind of moods. My crafty side took over and before I knew it, I was neck deep in a project that kept me up WAY past my old lady bedtime.
I started out with no clear direction...
...and ended up with something beautifully simple for our baby girl.
The next morning I went to the cemetery to take my creation to Charlotte. It was a cold, gloomy day...actually pretty fitting for my mood. As I sat shivering on the cold grass I allowed myself to do something that I hadn't in quite some time. I broke. My silent tears transformed into audible sobs, I sat on my hands to keep them from shaking, my stomach churned...I felt heartbroken and angry. I wanted to be in our warm cozy home, stringing that precious garland on our tree with my 2.5 year old in tow...not fumbling with frozen fingers to decorate her grave site. It's just not right.
I want to hate this picture...but there is a part of me that sees the beauty in knowing that Charlotte will always and forever be a part of me...that every moment spent with her made me a better person. I know that she hates that I hurt. I know she aches when I cry. I know that she feels the brokenness of my heart. But there are other things she knows, too. She knows our love for her. She knows that our pain is only temporary. She knows that soon enough we will all be together. She knows that our eternity will be full of joy. Until then we will continue to celebrate her...even if a part of that means making painful trips to a cemetery that no parent should have to make.
I hope that you like your pretty hearts, Charley Bear.
Mama loves you so very, very, very much.