I just finished writing a post on my other blog for my son since it is his first birthday today. And I have to take a moment to reflect on Cora's first birthday. Part of me thought that I wouldn't have this little sadness today, since I've already done a living child's first birthday and experienced what I should have had (there's a difference between mourning what you've imagined it's like, and then actually living it and KNOWING what you've lost). As I reflect over the past year with Patrick, my heart aches for all the pictures and experiences and milestones that I never got with Cora.
I never got to nurse her. I never got to play that "staring at each other" game, just looking into her eyes. I never got to see her smile, or hear her laugh. I never got to know what food is her favorite, what toy was her favorite. I never got to see her smash a cake or tear wrapping paper and try to eat it.
While watching another child do all those things is incredibly wonderful, in a way it also accentuates what I lost. It punctuates it. It makes it real.
For Cora's first birthday, we drove up to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, WY, where we spread her ashes. It was the only way I could spend the day with her. We took her flowers. We had a picnic. It was a beautiful peaceful day. ((I was 33 weeks pregnant with Erin at the time))