Reliving a Year

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I have had a pit in my stomach over the past few weeks.  I finally realized that I was reliving a lot of the anxiety I felt in the days leading up to her birth: a gnawing fear that something would happen.  This time, I feared that she would never reach one year old, instead of the fear that she wouldn’t be born healthy.  I envisioned a car accident, the day before her birthday, that would take her life.  I imagined the words that people would ask me, like “How old was your daughter when she died?” and I would have to forever respond “It was the day before her first birthday.”  Never able to say “I have a one year old daughter.” Continue reading

Planning a Party

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Photo by Katya Austin on Unsplash

After learning that I was pregnant with Nelle, I created a “secret board” on Pinterest called Baby Girl.  I added photos of nursery designs, parenting ninja moves I wanted to try “this time around,” baby gear I knew I would need – a wide assortment associated with the excitement of planning for a baby.  Included in my collection were ideas for a first birthday party. Continue reading

What I Had Tucked Away

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For over 20 years, my family gathered every 4th of July for a croquet tournament.  The exact number of years is unknown, but I have photos going back to my grade school days.  My family lived tucked at the end of a coulee in southwestern Wisconsin, with my aunt and uncle living up the coulee, and another aunt, uncle, and cousins across the street.  My uncle’s side of the family were also nearby so on the 4th, rain or shine, we gathered to play croquet.  The winning team took home a “trophy” – an odd, metallic art sculpture.  And in addition to potluck, my uncle would roast an entire pig in an enormous pit. Continue reading

Behind the Photographs

 

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Every morning, I look at my “On This Day” from Facebook, usually right up there with reading the news and checking the weather.  I have thirteen years’ worth of history to scroll through.  As I look at photos, I usually try to remember the situation, event, feelings, or why I decided to snap a picture at that time.  There is a lot that the captions don’t tell and often little context for day-to-day activities. Continue reading

When Memories Bring Tears

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Robert Frost said “No tears for the writer, no tears for the reader.”

It has been over twenty months since Nelle was born and still, still there moments when I cry because I miss her so much.  I miss her because she was my baby, my child, and she isn’t here.  She.  Isn’t.  Here.  Even typing those words, I have tears streaming down my face and my throat hurt with the pain that comes from gasping between breaths. Continue reading