The days continue to roll on. Every day is one more day removed from the last time I saw her, hugged her, kissed her goodnight or heard her complain about a meal I made. I sometimes worry I will forget her. I worry the longing for my baby will go away. I worry I will forget just how important she was in my life. They tell me the pain will dull. Some say it will go away. I’m still not convinced I want that. I want to remember. After about two months, the reality is really real most of the time. I no longer look for her to come bursting thorough our bedroom door. I no longer expect her to be in our shower. I don’t wait for her to come home from school. I know she isn’t coming back to this home anymore. She has gone Home. I think I have finally accepted that the love she feels there is greater than the love she had here. Maybe… I’m not sure. I loved her a lot. Ty loved her a lot. Kayla loved her a lot. She was adored here. Still is. How could there be any more?
Friends have started a scholarship fund in her name. The volleyball team is wearing bracelets with her name (and the names of two other girls taken from the team by illness). Kids are wearing t-shirts honoring her. The purple ribbons remain up in the neighborhood over two months on. Ty and I speak of her often. Ty and I talk to her. Ty sleeps with one of her stuffed animals. I have bought a ring in which I have had her name engraved. I have a crystal angel with purple wings hanging in my car (another perfect gift from someone I haven’t even met). And this week I got my first tattoo, her name on my calf in the infinity symbol. No, I don’t want to forget. I want to remember.
The last several days have been “pretty good”. I walked over 13 miles yesterday. Took my normal 4.5 mile jaunt then met my friend Bill for almost five miles as we discussed life. I don’t track my tears so much anymore. I trust that my body knows how to grieve. If I go a day or two without a major meltdown, it doesn’t mean one isn’t coming. I had one just this morning. They come when they come and I just let them come.
Shayna will never leave me as long as I draw breath. And when I don’t draw breath anymore, I hope she is there waiting for me. I have asked her to be there. Meanwhile I will do what I can to keep her close to me and to make sure no one else forgets her either.