This morning I lay in bed next to Shawn as he battled getting up for his first day back at work. I tried to patiently remind him that he needed to get going. I felt guilty that I would not have to endure such a difficult return and that the only thing on my schedule for the day was a visit from some friends. A gift that I have, only because Shawn works so hard to make it possible for me to stay home with Sadie. I watched him leave for work this morning and felt so proud of him for doing something that used to be simple, and now felt impossible.
I spoke to Shawn a couple of hours after he arrived. I have been in awe of how amazing Interpipeline Fund has been through this entire journey. Once again I was touched by their deep care, respect and sensitivity. Shawn was receiving the support he needed and was doing well. I honestly feel that many companies could learn from how they have handled our journey with Hope. I have nothing but praise for their kindness and patience over the last year and a half. They deserve to be honoured.
It is now 1 am and I'm still not able to sleep. I'm sure that some of it is the time change from Maui, but I know that the nights are also when I miss Hope the most. There are so many things in life that make me think of Hope. I got up this morning and came downstairs for breakfast, on the counter is Hope's SIN card that I need to cancel. Her pictures are all over our walls and her room is still full of her things. I have not been able to stop sleeping with her stuffed bunny and I find her things in little places too. Tonight I went into my make up bag in my purse to grab something and found Hope's teething ointment and some liquid sugar that we used to put on her soother. At the grocery store this evening. I saw a bunch of gerbera daisies. At her first birthday one of our favourite nurses brought Hope a single white gerbera daisy. She handed it to me and said, "next year I'll bring her two". I will forever think of her when I see them and it's the reason we had them on her casket. I see hearts on others clothing, spray painted on the street, in photos and in signs. I see her everywhere and I miss her like crazy.
At times I feel numb because I can look at her picture and not think about her being gone, just how beautiful I think she is. Sadie talks about her often and I can answer her questions without feeling a sting in my heart. Last night over dinner Sadie asked if God had a sister. I told her that God did not have a sister. She responded, "well he does now, he has my sister Hope". The way her mind works is amazing to me and it shows how often she thinks of Hope as well.
I went to bed tonight and tried to fall asleep. I started thinking about the music class I hope to take Sadie to tomorrow. Then I felt overwhelmed with fear that there would be people I didn't know there and they could ask me how many children I have. I don't want to answer those questions and worry I'm not ready to meet any new people in life. At the same time, maybe I just need to get over the first time someone asks me in order to know that I'll be okay.
I had to put the bill from the funeral home at the bottom of my stack of papers to file. I'm tempted to throw it out now that it's paid. I don't want to remember that part of Hope's life and I hate that I had to plan her funeral. I have started planning Sadie's 3rd birthday for next month and long to be planning Hope's next year. I want to help her pick out a graduation dress and a wedding dress. I am often reminded of the things we will never be able to do together on this earth.
My cousin Joshua wrote a song that I listened to in Maui. While listening to the chorus, I could picture Hope worshiping in Heaven. I could see her scar still on her chest, no longer representing pain and suffering, but now representing beauty and strength. She didn't look sad or lonely at all. Although I believe she deeply loves us and looks forward to seeing us, she is more than happy to wait for us in Heaven....a place where she feels no pain, is never put through a medical procedure and does not feel alone, ever.
I know that grief is a new journey we are on and that it is a long one. I wish I never had to walk along this road. Only 3 weeks after Hope's death, I feel like it has been years. Holding her feels like something I haven't done for months and her smell and the sounds she made are already fading in my memory. Even in our pain, I feel like we are doing well. At times I feel guilty for being okay and for getting up and living life each day. At the same time, I would want nothing less for Sadie and I know that Hope is not honoured by me staying in bed and crying. Each day is a new challenge and each hour comes with new emotions. I remind myself that each hour and each day that passes, takes me one day closer to Jesus returning or my old age and my own journey to Heaven. I've never been so excited to get old.