roseheather

She would be 30 today. We’d be celebrating, all of us together as a family.

Today, we mourn.

It’s been 30 years since we kissed her little forehead goodbye, and we still grieve.

Every day, but particularly every year on her birthday, I wonder what she would look like, what she would like and dislike, what would make her smile or feel sad. How she would interact with her sister and brothers and all the lovely people who’ve been added to our family over the years.

I wonder what it would be like to have her here.

Every year, this day has been hard. But today hit me harder than I expected and knocked the wind out in ways I wasn’t quite prepared to navigate. I cried pretty hard, bowled over by mama-grief and stay-at-home orders that have dragged on for weeks and a thousand thoughts I can’t begin to understand, much less put into words.

I need something to be normal, and so few things are.

Then I think of my sweet husband and the normal he is—the kind of normal that holds my world steady when it feels like it’s spinning off its axis, the kind that loves fiercely and forever no matter what is happening, what is hurting, what is off-kilter. He is a kind of normal I need in ways I too often take for granted. A kind most people won’t experience this side of Heaven.

Today, in the midst of the tears and pain and longing and if-onlies, I am grateful.

Happy birthday, Heather Rose.

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