I can track my life through those carnivals.
Carnival 2011. Eva was 4 months old. Apparently healthy. Mike and I got separated or something and I wasted part of the carnival being mad at him over nothing. What a waste.
Carnival 2012. Eva had been dad for six months. I had nothing. No hope. No Nathan. I staggered around that carnival close to tears the entire time. I could barely acknowledge anyone saying hello to me. My ex friend had had a baby on feb 15. The six months anniversary of Eva's death. She strutted around that carnival with her baby and even asked my mom to push him around for awhile all while completely ignoring me. God, that was a terrible carnival.
Carnival 2013. One and a half years since Eva died. I was hugely pregnant with Nathan. I could smile at my kids as they played games. Little J's bio mom showed up and freaked out Little J, and me.
Carnival 2014. Two and a half years since Eva died. My heart is still broken but I can hide it much better. I could talk to people and interact in a seemingly normal way. I could choose to enjoy the day. And I did. For the first time I could choose rather than just operate in survival mode.
All three years since Eva's death we have taken a pink balloon from the carnival and let it go to our missing girl.
When I look at it like this I know things are easier, but, oh God, I miss that girl so much.