My sweet Brigid,
This month it will be three years since you left us.
Three years. How did that happen? It seems like it was just yesterday.
And yet, so many things are slipping from my memory.
I can’t remember how tiny your body felt in my arms on those precious and rare days that I would be allowed to hold you and rock you and sing to you.
I forget the way you smelled, though daily we traded little felt cloths that we kept beside our bodies all day long so that we could bond while we were apart. So that I could make milk and pump it for you and so that you would know who I was when I came in to see you. So that we would know each other’s smell and they would be imprinted on our minds. I used to breathe in your smell every night when I got home. To close my eyes and think about you and wish that you could be with me right then. I still have those cloths – they are treasures to me – only they don’t smell like you anymore. No matter how hard I try to find it, your sweet baby smell is gone. It is enough, though, that they touched you every day, even when I could not.
Your portrait hangs on our wall and your baby sister knows your name and likes to stop and touch your face and point out your eyes and nose and ears. We kiss it. I often imagine what it would be like to have you running around with your siblings, chasing butterflies and picking flowers, giggling and being silly together. Every night as we say prayers, we ask God to give you and Fiona hugs and kisses for us.
These days, life feels like a balancing act for mommy, as I try to bring order to the chaos that is in our house while also embracing it a bit, try to find enough time for everyone and to remember to take a little time for myself, and prepare my heart and mind to welcome another little one into our family. Some days are so full of hustle and bustle that I am saddened how many of them go by before I devote some time to remembering you. I wish it happened a little more frequently, but when those days come, it’s often after I have your sister and brothers in bed and the house is a little quiet that I think about our time together. When I’m alone is when I miss you most. I miss the smile you used to give me when I’d come to your bedside, lean down next to you and say your name. I miss holding you. I miss worrying about you, as strange as that sounds. It was the only way I could care for you when I was away from you, by calling the NICU and asking how you were. Now, I’m away from you, but I can’t check in. I know where you are, but I can’t ask how you’re doing. I wish there was still something I could do for you to show you that I love you. I miss mothering you.
I just miss you.
But, sweet Brigid: you are in my heart. You are my precious daughter and you always will be. And even though you don’t really need mothering anymore, I am unbelievably honored to be your mother.
I love you so much, my beautiful girl.