Finishing up my trip at Target I heard a Mother say, "Greta, Emma, come over here". As I always do, I turned to see how old this Emma was. My eyes met those of a little girl, brown hair, blue eyes. I asked how old she was. Her Mom responded she just turned 9. My heart sunk a little. I put on the smile I always do. The one that is intended to be sure no one feels bad by what I am about to say. I have an Emma also. She would be 9 tomorrow but passed away as a baby. Her Mother tears up. I look into these beautiful blue eyes and tell her she is very special. She has a very special name. Thank you, her Mother mouths to me.
I walk away and cry.
I miss her so much it hurts. I miss her so much I want to punch things and cry, and eat away my pain. I want to write over and over how desperately I wish she were here, as if my words could bring her back. As if my tears and words could erase the last 8 years I have lived without her. I don't want her here as a baby. I want her here as an almost 9 year old.
I want to know what a sassy 3 year old Emma would have been like. I want to know what she would have worn her first day of Kindergarten. I want to know if she would be as boy crazy as her little sister. I want to know what music she would like, what movies, what sports, what toys.
I wandered the aisles of Walmart recently searching for something a 9 year old girl would like. Up to this point I have felt pretty confident in buying her gifts. First baby toys, then toddler, then preschool. Next we entered the school age phase; dolls, barbies, books, board games. Now though she is entering the tweens. What to buy for this little girl who is not a little girl and not a teenager yet? I called my dear friend Nicole to ask what her daughter (who is 3 weeks older than Emma and is Seth's best friend) would like. She didn't answer so I was left to my own devices.
As I searched the aisles, I came upon the craft section. Make your own jewelry kit, make your own cards and stamp kit. Yes. Yes, that is what she would like.
I wish I knew. I wish she were here. I wish I could have the struggle of separating Christmas and her birthday. I wish I had the challenge of making sure her day was so special and not just another day in the hubub before Christmas. I wish, i wish, i wish.
My darling Emma....
Happy birthday baby girl. 9 years ago today you made your entrance into the world. You were so determined to come feet first and have given me my Emma tattoo - my c-section scar. You taught me so much about being a Mother, balancing Motherhood and being a wife, about myself. You helped me to realize I am stronger than I ever thought possible. I credit you for me finding my voice in writing. It is through your life and death that I have learned to love your siblings so fiercely and intensely.
I miss you so much. I wish you could blow out the candles today. I wish I could know your mischievous side, your sweet side, your not so nice side...I wish I could know you.
You are my first, you are always in my heart, you are my special Angel and I love you more than anyone could ever understand.
I love you a million times over. You are my special Angel.