Dear Lilly and Brake,
It's been two years and two months since you left us, Lilly, and a year and a half for Brake. Going back to work seemed to intensify the pain. I was learning a new job, the one that played a hand in your death, Brake, and I was also learning how to live after saying goodbye to a second baby. I was moved to a midnight shift because I couldn't control my temper. I ran on very little sleep because of all the nightmares. I was always on edge at work because there was always a flashback around the corner. I had the worst flashbacks on the flight line, the worst place to have a distracted mind.
Last summer I started painting to help channel some of the pain. I lost motivation for it after a while, but I have still managed to let go of some of it. It still hurts. I still have nightmares. I still cry. I still can't even look at a ladder or use the bathroom at night without trembling. But I can talk about you with a smile because the joy that you brought during your short time really does outweigh the pain. I just wish others would be more open to remembering you. It hurts when people come into our home and get upset about seeing your pictures on the wall.
Almost three weeks ago, Mommy welcomed your little brother Marshall to the world. It hurts me to say this, but I finally feel like a real mommy. Lilly, you were my first born, my first love, and you made me a mommy. For the first time ever. But spending these last two years without you and Brake, well, I didn't feel like much of one.
When I'm taking care of Marshall, I realize how much I missed out on with both of you. It hurts to know that you never got a chance in this world. It hurts to know that Marshall will never get to be the little brother that he really is. Sometimes at night when he's nursing, I'll catch a glimpse of something in his eyes and I'll remember how much he looks like you, Brake. And I'll break down in tears every time.
Even though Marshall makes me feel happier, he hasn't and can't ever replace you. I will still always love you and miss you.
*I know there's supposed to be more pictures, but I'm still not getting around that well. I'll do better with next week's assignment.*