It's been thirty sleeps since I last kissed my youngest before settling her in for the night. That also makes thirty long days I have wandered around, seeing Piper in everything and everywhere. And tomorrow morning when I awaken it will be the thirtieth morning without seeing the blue of her lovely eyes seeking me out and finding reassurance or laughter or peace or truly, whatever my sweet girl needed from me for that day.
I feel I am a shell of who I was.
My heart, which I was amazed to find grow so easily to encompass loving two daughters when I thought I only had the room for one, has been split down the middle and I am left wounded and aching. Nothing can touch me when I feel the waves of desperation and loss and immense sadness wash over me.
Nothing. I just let it and I cry.
When I simply say "my daughter died", it's not too difficult. But to allow myself to go back to the actual process of watching her life slip away, well that is a burden I cannot imagine ever lifting. The details are etched in my already battleworn brain and I will never be able to unforget how incredibly difficult the last three weeks of her life were. But if I were to forget, I would forget a chunk of her life and while it burns my weakened heart to do so, I chose to remember in order to remember how much I loved my Piper. I also have allowed myself to remember the memories which make me smile and then cry for the missing. So many memories of a little girl who fought way too hard and way too long and yet showed me how fragile the breath of life is indeed.
I don't believe that Piper is an angel now. I don't believe that she is always watching me nor do I believe that I can talk to her. It's not in my realm of theology to think these are true but I do believe even better.
I believe she is well.
I believe she laughs.
Runs. Giggles. Holds hands.
I believe that she will squeal with happiness whenever I finally breath my last breath here and I believe that she is held in the literal, loving hands of God.
Sometimes my convictions are enough to keep me from sobbing uncontrollably and at times my convictions become frustration. I would find this entire process that much easier if I were to turn my back on God. To scream my anger at His plans and in defense of the plan I had for Piper and deny His existence in light of it all. But I cannot turn my back on the very foundation of my existence any more than I could have turned my back on Piper when I was weary and saddened.
I was created to love her only because of the vast and grace filled love that God showed me first.
This is why I am still breathing.
And the God who pours out just enough grace for the day is more than willing to take my anger and frustration and weeping and mourning. I do not faze Him by being hurt with how life is rolling along. He makes beautiful things out of broken vessels like this mommy. He made a beautiful thing out of my Piper, despite her broken and worn and sick little body.
This is what He does.
This is why I am still breathing.
To see Piper again will be beautiful.
I cannot fathom the details that God has promised await us when we return to His arms but I can earnestly say that knowing my Piper will be there and will immediately say "C'mon! C'mon mommy!" does nothing but bring me hope. Hope for tomorrow.
Hope for every painful moment.
Every tear, ache, sob and memory.
When I shop, I miss seeing her face smiling at me from the cart. When I drive, I miss her singing in the backseat. When I walk, I miss going slowly behind her pink walker. When I breath, I miss the scent of her skin. When I smile, I miss seeing her smile back. When I cry, I miss her patting my head. When I eat, I miss sharing a bite. When I do laundry, I miss having her help fold. When I put on make up, I miss her trying colors on. When I cook, I miss her sitting next to me on the counter. When I sleep, I miss the opportunity to walk down the hall and see her face in the shadows. When I write a note, I miss sharing a pen and having little scribbles drawn for me. When I go down stairs, I miss holding her hands and saying "march". When I give Linley her morning vitamins, I miss doling out chemo. When I put dishes away, I miss watching her snag a cup. When I worship at church, I miss her on my hip. When I park my car, I miss reaching to unlock her carseat. When I shower, I miss hearing her giggles outside the curtain. When I watch a movie, I miss the warmth of her skin leaning against me. When I read a book, I miss being given another one to read to her. When I pull into my moms neighborhood, I miss hearing her yell "nana". When I water flowers, I miss seeing her hands tussle the soil. When I hear a knock on the door, I miss her scurry to answer it. When I hear my phone ring, I miss wrangling it from her hands. When I kiss Linley goodnight, I miss feeling both girls together. When I pick Linley up from school, I miss her giggling for "nini". When I brush my teeth, I miss seeing her spit. When I sob, I miss my daughter.
When I miss Piper, I miss every little thing that I will never get back. This is a punch to the stomach but still I chose to believe that there will come a day we will be reunited. And I pray that heaven won't be too wonderful to leave me forgetting to relive the things I so miss about being the mommy of Piper.
And after thirty long days without my sweet girl, my youngest, my fighter and the epitome of my greatest fears realized, I can say only that I miss her.
I miss Piper Jean and this cannot change... I am certain and I am sad.