One of the ways I 'mother' my Eva is by writing on this blog. I have a little flower garden too, and a shelf that I can dust. But writing is my thing, has always been my thing and is more alive than dusting a shelf. And when winter comes again, as it inevitably must...then my writing will continue while the flowers are dead beneath a blanket of snow.
So when I say that writing is my way to mother Eva but I don't write on the 15th, well, it kinda catches and squeezes my heart in a way I cannot describe. I'm not even mothering her in the small way that I can. Oh, I thought all day yesterday about what I would write but it was a busy day. We went to Cowboy Church in the morning and in the afternoon an exhaustion that seems to have lain dormant in my body overtook me and I slept the merciful sleep of the grief-struck. My impotent rage laid quietly on the sofa as the hours passed in a dreamless oblivion.
In the evening we took the boys to the chuckwagons at the rodeo. When we got home it was 10pm and I was, once again, exhausted. I thought about her at the rodeo you know, cause last year we didn't go to the rodeo. The rodeo is a family tradition for us and Eva never went to the rodeo.
So here I am today. The day after another 15th. The 16th. And you know, the pain is the same all the days of the month. I miss her every single day. Not just on the 15th...although there is a little more twisty hurt on the 15th that doesn't appear on the other days.
When we were in PICU someone we did not know at the time but whose daughter turned into the only little friend Eva ever had or ever will have on earth stopped in and brought a box of treats for the boys and some little things for Eva. One of which was a little yellow dress. When I saw that little dress come out of the box I thought for sure she would never have the chance to wear it. I called it her hopeful yellow dress. Eva was 8 months old in PICU. We had her 6 month photo hanging up over her bed and I never thought I would get a 9 month photo of her. No one was very optimistic about us getting a 9 month photo.
Fast forward to July 15th 2011, Eva was out of the hospital but we were still living in Ronald McDonald House in the city. Amazing! I drove to a photo studio and got a 9 month photo of her. She was wearing...you guessed it...her hopeful yellow dress. Once I had those photos I was so sure she would live. I thought that those photos were it, you know. I had those 9 month photos and my baby was going to live, live, live. She looks like the picture of health and happiness in those photos. And who knew that under that yellow dress and under that beautiful baby flesh, her heart was already breaking. I was so happy that day. You have no idea. An innocent, pure joy I`ll never have again.
Last Christmas I found a website that makes amazing necklaces. They`re not cheap. But we won`t be sending Eva to college so dropping $125 on a necklace feels like nothing. This necklace is gold and it has Eva`s photo on it...and she`s wearing, of course, her hopeful yellow dress...that yellow dress now lies peacefully in the same pink box, with butterflies, that it came in. No stains or spit up on this dress. That hopeful yellow dress was also displayed at her funeral but all the hope it once held for me is gone.
So this July 15th was hard because now I know the outcome. There was to be no happy ending for me. No Eva to take to the rodeo this summer, except as a photo on my necklace...and a heart shaped pendant hanging from my rear view mirror, with a butterfly hairclip attached to the cord.
Eva, on July 15th 2011. 9 months old, in her hopeful yellow dress.
And we still live because we have the hope of Jesus and a future with our darling in Heaven.