So, I received notice in early December that our "Reagan bear" from mollybears.com was going to be completed in January and shipped to us. We registered with Molly Bears back in November 2012...so we've waited 15 months for this day to come. The package arrived yesterday afternoon. Part of me was so super excited, part of me experienced overwhelming grief yet again. I waited all day for Andrew to come home before deciding that I couldn't wait any longer and opened it right before I went to bed. Maybe should have waited until I had moral support right there...
For those of you who have never heard of Molly Bears, it is an organization that creates a stuffed bear based on your child's weight and specifications. So, our Reagan bear weighs 7 ounces and is sporting an awesome purple tutu. I absolutely love it. Yet, at the same time, it broke my heart to hold it in my arms. To know it was the exact weight of our sweet daughter. To imagine her dressed in a purple tutu, dancing away. I close my eyes and I can see her just perfectly...as she was, so peaceful and at ease with the world, and as I imagine her today, happy and vibrant and dancing in that field of flowers. I am sitting here, looking at the picture of her dancing hanging on the wall, blonde curls bouncing and a huge smile on her face. I am simultaneously falling in love all over again and crying out in despair. It has been 15 months since I laid eyes on that beautiful girl, our firstborn. Over a year since our tearful goodbye. And the pain is still there, still fresh. Does it ever get better?? I find myself telling the boys "once upon a time" stories about princess Reagan after reading their manly books about construction trucks. Every time I open the closet, I see her clothes hanging there. And a little piece of me crumbles. I just wish I could see her again, see her smile again, watch her wave to us, suck her thumb, dance away. As time moves on, I no longer have the anger I once had. A part of me always struggles with seeing little girls, not because I am hating these women but because it reminds me of what I am missing. Don't get me wrong, I love my boys. And I'll play cars and trucks with them all day long and be perfectly happy with that. But for so many months I dreamed on princesses and tea parties and I still miss that.
We have started getting things in the mail for "babies first birthday." And Reagan's due date is right around the corner (though I never really had any expectations of carrying a baby full term). I think that will make her due date a little easier, knowing she would have likely been born well before that. But once I realized these catalogs were not coming for the boys, they weren't implying that a super organized mother would already be planning her sons' birthday, I threw them all out. Another painful reminder of an empty day coming ahead.
But then, I wake up in the morning and I get to see two smiling faces. This morning especially, as Warren's little face lit up when I reached down to pick him up from his crib. My heart just melted. My boys in no way take Reagan's place or fill the empty hole her death left us with, but they bring me so much joy. Sometimes they make me crazy and I wonder how I will survive the next hour, much less the next year or more. But then they smile, I do something that makes them laugh, Dean gives me a kiss, or Warren gives me a hug (while simultaneously spitting up down my back...thanks for that) and it makes the world right again. No child will ever take Reagan's special place in our hearts and lives, but each boy and all our future children will have their very own "special place," carved out just for them. It's amazing how the capacity to love just keeps growing.