I'm not sure what to say or where to begin. Two years. I've lived two years without the Monkey and yet a lifetime stretches ahead. I remember others telling me the second year was actually worse than the first because people expected them to be "over it", that all milestones had been crossed and that first year you are just working on surviving while the second year is just another year without your loved one. For me, this wasn't the case.
Yes, I miss Hannah with every fiber of my being, but my heart doesn't ache with the intensity and ferocity it did that first year. Yes, there is still pain and longing, but as I've written before, it is rather like a chronic pain that I've learned to live with, it is not the horrible anxious, anxiety-filled pain of new loss. The heart does in fact heal. I am in no way suggesting this is how it is for others, for as I've so often said in the past, everyone grieves in their own way, in their own time.
Two years, 731 days. :sigh:
Last night I tried to sleep but had a difficult time. I knew today would be here whether I was ready or not and I couldn't stop my brain. The majority of the time, I don't think about the events of July 19, 2007. I don't think I'm trying to repress anything, but I don't like to dwell on the fear and anxiety from that day. Who likes to remember the horrible events in their life? Unfortunately, I was unable to avoid those scenes last night during that half-awake/half-asleep state.
Oddly enough, right before I finally drifted off, I heard Hannah. I heard her laugh and call out, "Hey, Dad!" It was her, I would know her little Minnie Mouse voice anywhere. Most of the time, she called Brien "Daddy", but every once in a while she would call out an enthusiastic "Dad". That is what I heard last night. That was lovely. You see, I fear I'm forgetting more and more. The more time that passes, the more time between us and our last moments with Hannah. I'm sure those memories are still there, they are just more difficult to recall. Think about high school math for a moment. What do you remember? If you don't use it, you lose it and I'm losing it.
Today brought our little ray of sunshine running into the room at 8:00, announcing it was time to get up because the sun was shining. She then pulled back those lovely black-out shades we have and proceeded to blind us with that knowledge. :squint: :blink: :blink:
I wanted to fix a breakfast Han would have enjoyed not just eating, but helping me make, so we had scones. Lil was pretty excited by this as well. :o) We then dressed in our Hannah finery--Brien in his Hokies Hawaiian shirt, I in fancy black clothes with a hot pink scarf and sparkly dangly earrings.
We had a low-key family gathering today at Nana and Pop's house. We had a lovely lasagna with Mom, Dad, Jen and Derek and their kiddos. Jen made a beautiful cake and decorated it with iridescent gum paste butterflies. Hannah would have approved. :o) When we had rested a bit from the HUGE meal, we walked to the loverly gazebo/water feature and sent Hannah some balloons. The weather was nice, the sky was a brilliant blue and I'm sure Han loved her balloons. Pop selected an extra special "Princess" balloon just for her.
The clubhouse was hosting a bridal show and there was a horse-drawn cart (like Cinderella's carriage) and beautiful white Percheron to draw it sitting in front of the building. As we drew near, it looked as if the carriage and horse were gone. We found them as we neared Nan and Pop's house and stopped to visit with the handsome creature and her handler. The horse's name? Princess. Perfect, no?
We bid adieu to Derek and then Jen and her gang. We then came home and had leftovers (and cartons of B&J's Cherry Garcia) and watched Han's all-time favorite movie, "The Pink Panther". It's been a day of up yo's and down yo's and I'm still riding it.
There have been beautiful cards (Jane, the purple glitter was DIVINE!, Kelly, you are such a dear to think of us, we MUST try to get together sometime) and the most loving and supportive messages, comments and emails. I can't believe how blessed we are to have so many amazing friends and loved ones. Thank you all so very very much for coming to check on us, to let us know you are thinking about us, for loving us as imperfect as we are. Most of all, thank you for loving my sweet baby, for taking the time to get to know her and appreciate the amazing person she was.
3. The beautiful day we had--Han would have LOVED it. :o) Family, friends, cake and balloons. What could be better?
4. Remembering Hannah's favorites.
5. Lil--blinding us in the morning notwithstanding. ;o)
6. Being alive and grateful to have had those six years with my baby. Oh how I miss her.
Another year done. Another one begun. :sigh:
Once more I thank you all so very much for all the love and support you have given us over the past two years. You are an incredible bunch of folks. Even if you don't comment, I know you are out there sending love, prayers and support. Thank you.
Finally, Sarah sent this piece to me this morning, saying it reminded her of me. It reminds me of all of us who have gone through something tragic:
From long experience of working with various traumas, I have come to believe that with a commitment to hard work and prayer, even the worst is healable. I don’t mean that a deeply wounded person will somehow be able to just go on with life as if the wounding never occurred.
Scars can be redeemed and turned into gifts, becoming a source of wisdom, love, and even joy that can be tapped to help others. Again and again I have seen this happen as hurting people experience the healing of Christ.
A deeply wounded, profoundly healed person is like a tree that has grown around a boulder; sometimes the tree actually incorporates the boulder into its structure. A boulder tree is especially beautiful and becomes an inspiration to those still struggling to grow around their own obstacles.