Happy Stress

Dear Olivia,

Anything and everything I do will never feel the same. You were my world. I use to talk about you even when the conversation had nothing to do with you. I always found a way to weave you into any discussion. Talking about you these days makes most people uncomfortable. It’s hard for people to find the right words, especially when there are no right words.  It’s also just emotionally exhausting for all of us. I’m slowly learning to be careful when I am compelled to bring up your name. I have to feel that crying in front of someone is going to be acceptable and that they aren’t going to see it as a sign of weakness or judge me. I can’t believe how many people have had to witness my emotional breakdowns. It’s embarrassing. You know how much your momma doesn’t like the world to see her so vulnerable. 

It seems like the further we get from the day I gave you all those kisses goodbye the more I think about what else I should have done when I left the hospital. I wonder if Nurse Josh really did take you down to the basement like I asked him to. I didn’t want you transported by a complete stranger and I wasn’t strong enough to take the trip down along side you myself. They offered. I think about the Palliative Care Team and how they swept into your hospital room to get the purple hand print they took from you and gave to me, when it was time to leave. They suggested that I add Sage’s hand print and name to the canvas as a way for him to remember you as he gets older. I haven’t done it…I doubt I ever will, but I did keep your hand print. Of course I kept it. It’s on my nightstand. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I look at when I go to bed. It’s right next to the rabbit with the poem on its tummy that our friends Sharon and Grace sent when they heard the news. The small braid I cut from your hair is also there. It’s tucked into the little box that the team gave us with the heart shaped thumb prints you made. I touch it and smell it often. I loved doing your hair. 

I took very few photos with my phone that final day. I felt like I would regret it if I didn’t. I haven’t shared them with anyone. I have one of your hand laying on mine, one of your foot and another of the Disabled and Proud wristband that Allie brought to the hospital and put on you. I try not to think about how swollen you were. That’s the image I wish I could get out of my head. That part was hard for me. You gained nearly six pounds in the four days you were there. 

Olivia, you taught me more about love and patience in the short time that I had you then anyone else could have taught me in their lifetime. I would do anything to have you back. I can’t begin to describe how painful everyday is without you. Writing these letters to you helps, but its only a band-aide. I just miss you and all the happy stresses of being your mom. Yes, I just said happy stress. I didn’t think stress could be happy, but I know now that it was. 

Love,

Momma

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