Friday, March 1, 2013

Happily Ever After

I guess most girls expect to live happily ever after after marriage. Disney surely subscribes to that belief. Every tale ends with a marriage and a happily ever after, tied in a pretty neat bow.

I guess I did expect that to some degree. In some ways I did get that. I have a wonderful, loving, supportive husband. He follows The Lord and treats me as an equal under the cross. But I never expected someone like Penny to drop into our family.

Two years ago, I would never have expected anything like this to happen to us. How could you expect to have a child with so many special needs before she's even born, and who only stays with us for two days? How could you expect to be in mourning for a child at the age of twenty-five? I figured I'd have four or so children, as naturally as possible, without C-sections. I'd have been much happier never knowing a speck about HELLP disease.

I've known for a while that I wanted to be a mommy. Still do. But sometimes (most times) I feel like Penny was never even mine. The (wonderful) nurses in the NICU spent more time with her than I did. Then the Lord took her, and she became His.

She would have been three months old now.

Some good friends of ours have a daughter only a week older than Penny. She's a beautiful, friendly, cuddly little girl, and I love her and her family so much. But there are days when I can't be in the same room with her for thinking "Penny would have been her age and size if she had been born healthy."

The other day a woman in Publix let me check out ahead of her because I was carrying a basket. It was a very friendly gesture, and I did appreciate it. Then she began talking on and on about how life is short and how far a smile can go. Now, I know she was just trying to be positive and cheery in a dreary everyday activity... but all I wanted to do was turn around and snap at her that of course I know life is short, but how could smiles have changed my daughter's fate? Could her grin have given her another hour, another day, another month or year to live? No.

Sorry if I'm rambling. The 26-28th of each month is hard. I go through her birthday and deathday anniversary all at once. It's emotionally rending, and I didn't expect it. Happily ever after is where Penny is now. I'm still on the roller coaster. Happy one minute, weeping the next, but at least I have a great man with me.

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