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My Sweet Angel

My Sweet Angel
4/6/09 4:45 pm 4 lbs 1 oz 17 inches

Friday, April 5, 2019

Guilt, and another perspective

Here it is Elise's 10th "birthday".
I never thought it would be so long ago.
A full decade.
1 child, 3 cats, 2 houses, 1 divorce, 10 years ago.

I look at how old my other 4 children are and think it just isn't possible that so much time has passed since life before them.
I barely remember what it was like to only have Emily. Or to only have an 8 year old and a newborn, or to have a teenager, a toddler and a preschooler.
But I have pictures and memories of all the big events in their lives along with some ordinary everyday moments captured in photographs or just my mind's eye and heart.

For Elise there are no childhood memories or pictures.
No firsts, no school events, no sports, no silly stories.
Just the 9 months I knew her in my womb and the few hours I held her body in my arms.

There are also the times I've been deliberate in celebrating her, however.
Usually on her birthday.

But this year I feel like I dropped the ball.

I wanted to host a big event to celebrate her impact on this world.
I had the same wish 5 years ago and it didn't happen.
I beat myself up for quite a while for that.
But I told myself that things will be different in 5 more years. I can make it up on her 10th.
Last year I announced I was going to host a 5k.
I researched and networked and thought I had a good start.

Then, life.

As much as I never wanted it to since the moment I found out Elise died, life went on.

I got the go ahead from my mortgage broker to start looking for a house for myself and my 3 "little" ones. This consumed my entire summer and by fall we were moving and unpacking and settling into our new life for about the 4th time in the last 5 years.
This time it was the real deal though.
This one wasn't temporary, this really is how it's going to be for the foreseeable future.
And it took a little adjusting for us all.
But let me assure you it is wonderful!
We are all doing the best we've been in years!

Just before Christmas I came across a family retreat being held the weekend of Elise's birthday just a couple hours away from our home. I couldn't believe the timing!
By now I knew my 5k idea wasn't going to be able to be pulled off so this seemed perfect!
A weekend getaway for just us centered on Elise with other families navigating the same path we are.
The kids however, in true kid fashion, were not interested.
They said they liked the way we always celebrate her, the same exact way we celebrate each of us; spending the day together doing things we like.

Those kids of mine can be pretty profound sometimes.

I still feel guilty, but I try to cut myself some slack.
I blame it on being her mom! Isn't it just an innate character flaw of (most) moms to always feel guilty, always wonder if they're doing the right thing, if they're doing enough for their children?

A very good friend of mine reminds me when the guilt is taking over and I'm being too hard on myself that I'm actually doing a wonderful service to my children by NOT being able to devote hours and hours and hours to one event because I'm spending my time making a life and living a life for us all!

Elise is loved and Elise is missed every single day, all 3651 of them so far.

Tomorrow we will celebrate her with a family trip somewhere fun, a nice dinner together and dessert at home.

We will make memories for her, of her.

And I'll try to leave (some of) my guilt behind.


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