Thursday, May 7, 2020

10 Years

Dear Stevie,
10 years ago, I wanted the world to stop. I said it out loud and in my head over and over again, "how is the world still turning when my baby is dead?"

You were born on a Saturday, and the next day, my first day back at home, was Mother's Day. It was a beautiful sunny day, the kind of summer-like day people in Minnesota live for after a long winter. And for the first time in my life, I just wished it would rain, or snow, anything to better match the indescribable sadness that consumed me.

I shut myself in the house. I sat on the couch and stared blankly at the TV, half watching hundreds of Law and Order SVU episodes I had already seen until it was time for bed. In my house, on my couch I could pretend that the rest of the world had stopped the moment mine did.

And now here we are, a decade later, and it kind of has. Quarantined at home, on my couch, watching too much mindless TV. It's ironic, maybe even fitting that your 10 year "birthday" would take place as the world is all but shut down. 

A few weeks after you died, my mom and dad bought me this black lounge chair and set it up on the deck outside our townhouse. They knew I loved laying in the sun and thought it might get me to leave the living room. I couldn't do it right away, but eventually I got brave enough to open the sliding glass door and step outside. The warm sun on my face was therapeutic, more healing than any of the books or articles on grief I had been sent. My heart felt cold and dead, but the sun, it started to help me thaw. 

I ended up spending hours a day on that chair. One day, I felt strong enough to venture off the deck for a walk around the block, then to Target. Finally I began the slow process of learning to fully live in a world without you in it.

I still have that black lounge chair. It now sits out in our backyard sandwiched between the trampoline and swing set your brothers and sister play on. I probably should have upgraded by now, but it reminds me of you. It's like a weird symbol of that defining time in my life. Of the sadness, yes, but also of the strength I found within myself. Of the sun, literally and figuratively. 

"And in my hour of darkness, there is still a light that shines on me." Those song lyrics got me through then, and they are getting me through this strange and trying time now. One thing you have taught me is that things will get better. They might not get perfect, they might not be how we had planned, but they will get better. The rain and the snow will eventually give way to warm sunshine again.

10 years. I don't even know what to say. It's a chaotic beautiful life we live here without you, but I sure wish you were around to make it a little more chaotic and a lot more beautiful.

Forever my firstborn. 



Lara said...

<3 So beautiful.

Fireangel117 said...

Still think of you and Stevie a lot and how much it helped to have this space to connect. Much love on this day and always.

Unknown said...

You are crazy strong.

iamadragonbreathingfire said...

Always loving the way you honor Stevie and keep her memory and spirit alive. Loving you always!

Jenny said...

Beautiful. You’ve always had a way with words. I still think of Stevie when I see trees. ❤️

mama conti said...

Beautiful ❤️

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