The grief is still very raw. Only today, it’s magnified. 6 months. 6 MONTHS!! How? How has it been 6 months already?! It’s a well-known fact that I’ve been dreading today, mainly because I’ve been sharing it freely. I’ve cried almost every day the past 2 weeks. It’s been a horrible countdown in my head and now it’s here.
But there are more countdowns in my head too…43 days until my birthday, 73 days until Thanksgiving, and 105 days until Christmas. No, I didn’t know the exact days, I looked them up, but there are always the reminders on Facebook. People posting reminders of how many Fridays until Christmas, or days until the next holiday. So it’s all very fresh in my mind of how close the next ‘first’ will be.
Today isn’t going to be all grief and sadness, today is also about honoring Penelope. As with every month that passes, we put roses at her grave. One rose for each month since she was born.
**Let me say the florists I see are great, I’m typically a crying mess who can hardly speak to them besides giving them the number of roses I need and sometimes the preferred color. And even though I only come to the store once a month, they know me and they know my story. They wrap up the roses so they will fit in the vase on her headstone. They treat me with dignity, no sad looks, just respect. **
Back to today. Camden and I went to the cemetery and talked about her, we say how much we love and miss her. I write in her journal and we pray for her. Every time I visit Penelope, I always talk to her, but mostly I cry. I can’t help it. It’s my way of showing how much I love her when I can’t physically show her. While today was a sad milestone to overcome, there were some things that made today different.
1. Every time I visit Penelope, I look for a friend of ours and have never found him, until today. I was so happy to be able to visit him and let his momma know we were thinking about them.
2. We noticed a new friend had been placed in the same Babyland recently (I’m wanting to return this week with a note for his parents). 3. I went to a friend unannounced when I needed the familiar understanding of my grief (not something I typically do).
Since 6 months is quite the milestone, I have held onto a gift bag containing a pink blanket and a blue blanket and a pink bunny and a blue bunny. Things I have want to donate to the bereavement room at St. Luke’s, but couldn’t find the strength to do so earlier. I decided 6 months would be the time to overcome that hurdle, to face the hospital where she was born…but I couldn’t. I’ve had this gift bag for months, sitting in the nursery, ready to be delivered…and I couldn’t do it. And that's ok.