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Yesterday, I went to my friend Claire’s house to see her new baby who is now 4 months old. I have met her darling Bella before, but it had been a while since I had seen her. Bella was born the day before Angel’s first birthday. I brought her some formula, cereal, and baby food that Angel would no longer be using. Seeing baby Bella with her porcelain white skin, beautiful blue eyes, chubby arms and legs that made spastic movement when she got excited, the smell of spit up that remained on my dress even after I left, her soft blankets, sweet smiles, and the way she felt as I held her brought me back to the same time last year when Angel was the same age. Has a year already gone by? Holding this sweet baby stirred feelings in me causing me to dream about my own precious baby. This time when I dreamt of her it wasn’t full of anxiety like dreams I’ve had since she has been away. Dreams that she felt I had abandoned her. In this dream, I was holding her covering her in kisses just as I plan to do when I see her next, and although she didn’t speak to me I understood that she misses me and loves me just as much as the day she left.
It has been 40 days since I last held my daughter, and there is not a second that goes by when she is not in the back of my mind or on the tip of my tongue. I have tried to make the most of my time without her, but I have never enjoyed the fact that she was gone. Her highchair sits in the corner clean absent of blueberries or peas, her toys are stacked neatly in the corner of the living room. I walk into her room which is lined with vacuum cleaner marks on the floor because no one has been in there lately. Her books are stacked in the bookcase, and my house is silent, no sounds of Elmo or The Wiggles. I can’t promise that I won’t ever get upset over crayons on the wall, dirt on the floor, or an unkempt bedroom. In those moments of frustration I will be thankful that those things are there, rather than not. If you have children go hug them, kiss them all over, and make sure they know you love them so much, and when you get irritated with them imagine life without them. Thank God for those messes and all the joys they bring because that is the meaning of life. At least it is for me, and I can’t wait to have my life back!