IN case you were wondering, there is no referee. There is no one who comes rushing in when life gets too physical, too painful. No one to save you in the moments you are pinned to the mat, squirming and begging and struggling to breathe. There is no one who stops the world when the doctor says "What I'm seeing isn't reassuring."
Trust me. I would know.
I kept looking towards the door, waiting for someone to burst through and say, Seriously? No, no. We're done here.
I remember things about that day.
I had a bowl of Captain Crunch Berries in the morning. I watched the movie 'Mulan'. I was wearing a green shirt.
You left me somewhere between lunch and nap time.
Sometimes I wonder what I was doing at the exact moment. Was I pouring the orange juice? Making the bed? Is it possible that your brother was telling you a story, that my hand was gently atop my belly at the precise moment you passed? I like to think so.
You were born at 8:30 am on Sunday, February 23, 2014. It was a rainy morning. It was foggy and it was cold. Unforgivably cold.
You had bright red lips and and skinny toes. You had lots of dark brown hair and long fingernails. You were the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. And you were gone, along with five pounds and three ounces of my heart.
The closing ceremonies for the winter Olympics were on the television. You were alive for the opening and gone now. It was one month until spring.
I remember when you were handed to me vividly. For one moment I forgot that this was a sad day. I remember feeling proud of you. I remember someone saying, "There she is," and almost forgetting. Forgetting for one second that you were no longer there.
I remember saying I'm sorry. Over and over I'm sorry.
Things that once brought me joy now cut like knives. I find myself giving dirty looks to Sushi resturaunts and wine bottles. I am doing things I never have before. Yelling in my sleep and cursing the light that seeps through the blinds, which are closed for now.
There are guessing games as to why this happened to you. Was it all the horror movies I watched on Halloween? Was it the caffeine on too many Monday mornings? Did I worry about you too much? Not enough? Was my music too loud in the car? Was my longing for a baby girl too overwhelming? Did I jinx you?
I had a dream where I was standing in a courtyard, surrounded by baby turtles. I was just standing there, arms outstretched. I felt them moving slow around me. I felt you pass me by.
Everything is relative to my time with you now. A date is mentioned and I immediately place it to before or after I found out you were coming, before or after I found out you had gone.
I make mental checklists. Have I been here since you passed? Will this place hurt too much? Can I do it? Will I cry? Does he know what happened to me? Can they tell my baby is dead?
People stare and cook and call.
And my only question isn't why. It's how.
How do you go on?
How does one keep breathing?
How can I contribute to a world that no longer satisfies my existence?
My birthday came and went without you. I got your name tattooed on my wrist. Every time my heart beats, life flowing under your name. Forever.
I won't ever forget you were here, within me. You are now a part of me, ingrained in my every triumph and mistake. A part of this body that failed you.
I read and I write, and I read some more. But I can't relate to anything. Nothing seems to equate to losing you, and no one understands it like me.
I know it's possible to continue. But how?
For some reason, I keep waking up every morning.
The sun keeps rising but you are still gone, and none of it makes any sense to me.
I miss you, Josephine. Show a girl how.
All my love,