It's been a while since I wrote a post with tears in my eyes, but if I told you that was true of this one, I'd be lying. I plan to spend today howling. Because, frankly, a year ago my daughter died. And it still hurts like hell.
Tomorrow is the 15th of December. It is a day I've been dreading for a year. It's the last of the firsts. There will be no more firsts. I will never see Poppy's first anything. No first smile. No first step. No first day of school or first boyfriend. This is the very last one. Her first birthday.
I am trying really hard to not think of all the things I should be doing today. Wrapping presents for Poppy to tear open tomorrow, no doubt with the help of her adoring big brother. Decorating a suitably ginormous princess-themed cake. Hoping for nice weather tomorrow so she can enjoy her first go on a jumping castle, like Xav did on his first birthday. But I'm trying hard not think of those things.
We've tried to do some things we might have been doing. We went and picked out a pretty dress for Poppy. We argued when the one we all liked wasn't available in a size 1, and then giggled about why in the hell does it matter? We're shopping for our daughter who will never wear it. I'm making a cake, but not the cake I would have made had Poppy been here to blow out the candles. We're having a celebration of sorts, but not a jumping castle, or balloons, or gifts. Not at all the shindig I'd been planning since I got pregnant with my baby. We're trying to capture a little bit of the magic of a first birthday. But it will never, ever be enough.
Maybe it will be a good thing, having the last first behind us. Instead of this feeling of waiting and wanting. Maybe, it's moving forward. But I just wish it were different. I wish I had been able to have Poppy here. I wish I was sitting here saying, "I can't believe how she's grown!"...
Instead my tears fall. And fall. And fall.
There is no light hearted, meaningful ending here today. I am allowing myself today for my loss. Tomorrow, tomorrow is for the joy of my daughter's creation and what she gave us. But today, I think I'm allowed to cry.