Happy Birthday Penelope

November 7, 2012

Today you would have been 5, Penelope. I can’t believe it has been 5 years since I said goodbye to you. I still remember the heart wrenching pain, but now its almost like watching a movie in my mind of some one else experiencing it. Time has dulled the pain of your birthday. I will still cry (I may even be crying as I type this), I wish with all my heart that things had been different. But they aren’t. We tell your siblings about you, that Fiona has both a sister and a brother, and Lincoln that he has two sisters. We will celebrate your birthday (Fiona and Lincoln love any excuse for cake). I wish we could be at the summit, but your not just there you are always with us. Carried in our memories and hearts. I’m glad that I was able to take your siblings up to the summit in September.

Its one of my favorite places in California, which is why we chose that place to spread your ashes. Its peaceful and serene. Its the spot that Mark and I would watch the geminid meteor shower every year. Bundled up, snuggling together for warmth (its the annual meteor shower that occurs in December) talking about our plans for the holiday and the next year. The year that you were born we still went up there but we were rather quiet about our plans, mostly we talked about the what ifs.

It made sense to leave a part of you there. To forever experience the beauty of that spot. On clear days you can see the ocean from the top of the hill. It wasn’t a clear day when we spread your ashes. I still remember that it was drizzling. Mark and I walked down to your rock and and tossed your ashes into the air and watched the wind carry you away. I remember feeling completely alone until I turned around and saw the hill lined with people who were all there for you.

I have several of the grasses that grow next to your rock (one that Fiona is holding) that sit on my nightstand. So even though we aren’t there, we brought part of the summit to us.

I wonder what you would be like now, especially when I see Fiona playing with older girls. You were the most active in my belly, would you be more active then your siblings? Would you like to dance like Fiona? Would you be as talkative? Who would you look like? You were the only one with freckles like your daddy, but you had my hair color. As I watch Fiona and Lincoln grow up I will always wonder what you would have been like what you would have grown up to be.

Sometimes it feels like your death happened recently other times it feels like a lifetime ago. I think you made me a better mother. I know just how precious your siblings are. They might drive me nuts but I love them with my whole being.

I think “what if” a lot less now. Would we have had Lincoln if you were here? Would we just have 2 girls? I don’t know the answer. Maybe things happen for a reason, maybe sometimes life isn’t fair. But I carry the lessons your death taught me and I hold them close. Tonight I will look up at the stars (there are several named for you) and I will remember you, tell you I love you and wish you a happy birthday.

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