|“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for.
And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a
distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
― Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
In 2006, T left home for the Air Force. The same night, F was killed in a horrible car accident.
In 2007, I left home for the Navy. 17 days later, Andy was killed in a horrible car accident.
In 2008, I had a job I loved and I was married to my best friend.
In 2009, I was divorced.
In 2010, I was pregnant for the first time and then my baby died.
In 2011, I was pregnant for the second time and this baby died too.
In 2012, I was pregnant for a third time and this baby actually got to come home.
I've been trying to write this for five days. Just sitting here, staring blankly at the screen. Trying to think of what a year from now might look like. One year isn't very long, so that sounds simple enough. But then I look back at where I was a year ago. And a year back from then. And then another year. The last several years have been one hell of a roller coaster, to say the least. They definitely didn't work out like I had planned...or like I could have ever imagined.
One year from today.
Marshall will be almost 14 months old. Bryan will be done with school. My time in the Navy will be done. I will be 3 years and 3 months from losing my first baby.
If I try really hard, I can picture us moving into our own place. A nice little house with an oak tree. A garden full of big hydrangeas, some butterflies, and maybe even some chickadees. A sun filled room for me to paint in. A patio to relax and enjoy a cup of tea as the sun comes up. Pictures and reminders of Lilly and Brake will fill the inside, just as they do here.
I can picture Marshall and the dog chasing each other around a big fenced backyard. Or Marshall running to his dad as he gets home from work. I can picture his dad actually playing with him...a feat that is hard to come by right now.
I can picture being back in school, finishing my nursing degree. I can picture running my own business. I can picture an outreach of sorts, with a room full of local baby loss mommas with a safe place to open their hearts.
I can picture a healthy, happy family.
Real, true happiness. In spite of the grief, the fear, the nightmares, but probably never without them.
But then I start thinking again. About the past. About the present. About all the things that have happened and all the things that keep going wrong.
And then I start doubting because the past has already proven that what I imagine doesn't always happen, that life sometimes has other plans, that some things just don't work out.
In reality, I don't know that any of that will happen next year, or even the year after that.
I guess all that's left is to pray and cling tightly to hope. That's what has brought me this far.