Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Carrot stains and other permanent damage

My hubby and I have discussed this ad nauseam: in his mind, Samantha lived a very good life. And he's right. If you don't count the time spent in the PICU (8 weeks total), her 12 months were very good. Great even. She was surrounded by a very loving family and was doted on by three adoring siblings. She died before she even knew to fear death. She died in my arms, her mother's arms, heavily dosed with morphine. She didn't feel a thing. What better way is there to go? Really, her death was peaceful and beautiful.

But forgive me for not celebrating this fact. I can't help but dwell on the fact that she was robbed of a full life. We were robbed of really getting to know her. My son was robbed of being a big brother. My daughters were robbed of their baby sister. I was robbed of my baby! I'm not ready to be past the baby stage already.

Today I opened up Samantha's dresser drawers for the first time since December and noticed that one of her onsies had accidentally been put away dirty way back when. I could see the tell-tale signs of baby food carrots and a few other unidentifiable bits of food on the collar. It was a very tangible reminder to me that she was here, she was alive and present in our house, and not that long ago. I looked through all her clothes and held some of my favorites up to my body, just trying to feel what it was like to hold her. How my arms ache just to hold her again. It's an actual physical ache.

I admit to treating my almost three year old son like more of a baby than I should. It's just that, well, I don't have my baby anymore, and he's the next closest thing. I sometimes carry him around when he should clearly be walking. I dote on him more than is probably good for him.

Oh, and he's responded willingly to this “babying” and has begun affecting a new “baby voice” from time to time. He's perfected the most annoying 2 year-old-speaking-baby-talk you can possibly imagine, so I guess this is my payback for treating him like a baby. I just hope the damage to his psyche isn't permanent.

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