Monday, May 12, 2014

Alaska's Roses

Over the last few weeks, my anxiety over my birthday and Mother's Day grew. If I could have chosen to skip those days I would have. Not because I don't want to celebrate my family and my additional year of life, but because this is my first of these days as a mother to a dead baby. Since I turned 30 I have enjoyed my birthdays because life has improved with each year. This year I was conflicted about this feeling. I am still incredibly blessed and thankful for my life. It all just comes back to wishing that Alaska hadn't died, knowing that I can't change this reality, and remembering to live with joy anyway.

These special days mark the time in a more significant way than any other milestone we've reached: Life goes on and on and on and on until it doesn't. Of course I knew that it wouldn't work to pretend that yesterday was just a normal day. Instead of skipping it, I ignored my phone and spent the day with my family. We planted flowers for Alaska and did some yard work in the rain. I opened my cards and gifts from my sweet boys and Brandon. We cooked and ate cheese cake and watched a movie. I continued to read The Magicians by Lev Grossman (the first book other than Looking for Alaska that has fully captured my attention since Alaska died).

When I wrote in my Alaska journal last night, I was nervous about what to write, but once I started with "Dear Mommy," the rest of Alaska's letter to me wrote itself. And in that letter, her gift to me was revealed--the big rock that Brandon and Elliott uncovered as they dug holes for Alaska's roses.

Now that I have some perspective (with a heavy dose of acceptance on this grief journey), I know that I couldn't have had a better 32nd birthday. Well, part of me knows that. Another part of me still resists reality.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Love, Alaska

An excerpt...

Dear Mommy,

Happy birthday AND HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! I love you so much. I know you've been scared of this day, and I know it was hard to not have me growing in your belly and almost ready to be born. I was and am still with you, though. And Daddy and my big brothers took the best care of you today.

I love you, Mommy. I am with you always. The flowers you planted today with Daddy and Elliott and Asher are beautiful. And that huge rock they dug up. That rock was your gift from me. You are the best mommy in the world. I'm so lucky to have you. You spread my love and my light. Remember to live a big huge life, Mommy. Remember to feel joy until your hands laugh and your face hurts from smiling. Interrobang about tomatoes and books and your babies (all of us).  I know it's hard, but do it anyway.

I love you forever!
Sending you angel kisses!

Love, Alaska <3 ‽

Monday, May 5, 2014

Candles for Alaska

When Asher brought this note home a few weeks ago, I wasn't sure how we would celebrate Alaska on Easter (I kind of panicked thinking that we needed to find the perfect way to celebrate her). Of course, we celebrate Alaska every day, so it was natural that Alaska would join our Easter celebration as well. Elliott and Asher received these candles in their Easter baskets. Now they have their own candles to light for their baby sister.