We were up at 6:30 this morning. A buzz of excitement ran through the house like electricity. Amelia got up easier than she ever has, as she is my girl who loves to sleep. She was dressed and in my room to do her hair before I even had to ask.
They both looked so good...dressed in their favorite duds, ready for a new year for Seth and a first year for Amelia of school.
As we braved the traffic, the hoards of students (and parents) and made our way to the school, I couldn't help wondering how different my life could have, should have, would have been.
Today I should have been taking my 3 big kids to school. I should have had to get up just a little bit earlier because I'd have 2 girls who needed their hair done. I should have had to stop at the stairs in the school to kiss Emma goodbye and wish her a great first day of 3rd grade. Then I should have kissed Seth and Amelia and told them to watch for their big sister after school.
Instead, I kissed Seth goodbye, watched Amelia's Kindergarten parade, kissed her goodbye and wiped tears from Libby's eyes as she realized Amelia wasn't coming home with us.
Instead of waiting to hear about the first day of school from my 3 big kids, I will only hear about it from 2.
Instead of having an 8 year 8 month 8day old who is in 3rd grade, I have this.
I have a baby who stopped growing. I have a daughter who I remember with all my heart and soul, but whose voice I have forgotten.
I have a piece of my soul that left me 8 years ago today. I have a hole in my heart that will never be filled. I have an ache in my arms that can not be cured. My body feels a thirst for her that can not be quenched.
Emma has 4 siblings who don't get to play with her. She has 2 brothers and 2 sisters who don't know what it is like to have an older sister here on this Earth. She has 2 sisters who want nothing more than to play dolls, barbies, family and dressups with her. She has a brother who wants to play Legos, Ninjas and Pirates with her. She has a baby brother who wants her to hold him, make him giggle, and play with him.
She has a Mama and a Daddy who lost a part of themselves the day she died. She has 2 Parents who would give the world to have her back in their arms again.
Today should have been much different than it was. My picture files of her shouldn't have stopped on August 22, 2003. My world should have kept going on August 23, 2003. I should know what it's like to have her here.
I should know what she would look like. I should know how dark and long her hair would be. Would it be unruly like mine and Amelia's? Would it be curly like her Aunt's? Would she look as much like Jeremy's sister now as she did then? Would she want to do dance or karate or swim? Would she tan easily in the summer like her siblings? Would she have Bieber Fever? Would I be okay with it? What kind of music would she like? What would her taste in fashion be? Who would be her best friend? What kinds of secrets would they tell? What games would she like?
I have these and a million other questions. I think of these questions and then push them back down into the dark recesses of my heart. It hurts too much to think about it. It hurts too much to remember what is gone. It hurts too much. It hurts too much. It hurts too much.
My daughter should have started 3rd grade today. Instead, I am remembering the 8th anniversary of her death.
And I hate every moment of it.