Tomorrow marks 11 months since delivering Harlynn, and today marks 11 months since I went into labor. Today after church, Haley and I drove out to the cemetery. On previous visits, I had already seen that all but one of her graveside decorations had been completely obliterated by a tractor that had to dig a grave through the snow for another baby. That made me mad on so many levels. Mad that everything, save for her purple butterfly, was gone. Mad that another baby had to die. Mad that I had to stand at a cemetery to spend time with my baby girl. I picked up two pine cones and one ornament salvaged from her Christmas cross - all that remained of it - to bring home. Today's visit showed that the purple butterfly, her one remaining item, was all but destroyed as well. Seriously, Lord?! Can I have NOTHING with Harlynn? Can I not even have one graveside decoration with which to honor her? Nothing?! Lying on the ground, next to her grave, was a beer can. A beer can. I stomped through the mud and slush and dirtied my boots so I could kick it away as hard as I could because I was....well, mad. I'm still mad.
Today in church the pastor made the comment "the worst day of your life doesn't have to define who you are." The message was centered more around sin, and regardless of what you've done, Jesus loves you and will accept you and your repentance. I firmly believe that. The sentence itself, however, is not true for me. The worst day of my life, the day we lost Harlynn, completely defines me. It has changed how I parent Little Miss. It has changed how I relate to my husband. It has changed my relationships with everyone. It has changed how I have approached this pregnancy with Little Man. It completely and absolutely defines me.
I am a mother who lost her baby. And there is nothing I could do about it.
I've heard so many times, growing up and even as an adult, "Why be mad about something you can't change?" Well, I'll tell you. I'm mad about something I can't change for the mere fact I can't change it. I can't change that her heart stopped beating. I can't change that everything at her grave was destroyed. I can't change that I will never hold her tiny frame in my arms again. I can't change the fact that the baby girl I carried for 8 1/2 months died. I can't change any of that, and that makes me mad. I can't change the fact that most anything anyone says or does in an attempt to comfort me drives me completely batty instead. Here I am 11 months on from losing her and there's not a daggum thing I can do about it. Being mad is sometimes the only thing I can do.
As we drove away from the cemetery today, I heard, "are you starting to cry now because you miss Harlynn?" from the seat behind me. I wasn't crying, and told her Mommy will always miss Harlynn, but she won't always cry. Not every day, anyway.
Eleven months. Not a day goes by that you aren't remembered or loved, Harlynn. Even if Mommy gets mad, it's because she loves you and misses you. We all do.