There’s a stretch mark that pulls from my belly button; that’s when she introduced herself.
There’s a horizontal scar across my stomach; that’s when she was born.
There’s a crack in my heart; that’s when she said goodbye.
Daily reminders of a child that should be, but isn’t.
She’s not here, but everywhere at the same time. I see her constant essence in my surviving children. The sunshine that highlights my daughter’s hair is kisses to her little sister. The eye sparkle that’s present when my son smiles is her letting me know she’s enjoying the moment too.
When February comes around, it’s so hard to catch my breath; a reminder of the worst period in my life. It’s been seven whole years since I was given a precious miracle and lost it in only six short weeks.
I often think of who she’d be today; a feisty little girl with a heart of gold, just like her sister. She is in the face of every first grader I see. Every seven-year-old girl who crosses my path shares her resemblance. Would she be happy to have me as a mother? Would I have been strong enough to handle her heart condition for a lifetime? That’s the question everyone has.
“How do you stay so strong?”
Because I was her mother, and that’s what a mother does. I may seem happy and moved on, but every day I feel the absence of her presence. I may seem strong, but you only see the front I put up.
Seven years. 2,556 days I have had to be strong. I’ve had to learn to adapt. Learn to deal with the daily reminders. Learn to deal with the fact that even though I am a mother of three, I am only able to hold two of them in my arms.
As much as the daily reminders make me yearn for my lost daughter, I am so grateful for them. They are keepsakes of her life, proving she was here. Proving that I have what it takes to conquer the worst.
I only had her for six weeks, and it’s been a long time since then. But she is still very much present in my life. She taught me to love and cherish each moment, and the daily reminders reiterate that.
They say you never forget your first love, Kaydance was mine.