Due date

It just clicked over to midnight. Since July 15th I have been anticipating this day. 

For 8 months it was with joy and love and hope and a happiness I had never experienced before in my life.

For the five and a half weeks it has been with dread and bitterness and a hatred I never thought I was even capable of experiencing. 

March 24th is/was my due date. Now, it’s just another sour reminder that she isn’t here. She won’t be coming home. It’s another day that I’ll know there’s an empty crib behind that closed door in our house and that there’s a room full of things bought for, and given to her with love, things that she’ll never see or use. Outfits that I excitedly bought in Niagara Falls in October. A stroller that I have pushed miles around the basement and practiced opening and closing when no one was looking. Boxes of diapers I bought on sale so I wouldn’t have to worry about running to the store in those hectic first few months. And empty picture frames for those milestones she’ll never conquer. Constant reminders of my sweet Everlee and the future she’ll never have. I feel my entire being brimming with adoration and longing and wonder. Then my whole body aches by my broken heart. But I miss you, Everlee, with every breath I take.

Darcy and I decided we’d try to celebrate this day. Odd? Perhaps. We just both had been looking forward to it for a lifetime – her lifetime. We didn’t want to let it pass. Not without some recognition. Everlee deserves that. We deserve that. We’re going to go out to dinner. We’re going to talk about her. We’re going to remember her and celebrate all of that joy she brought to us for as long as we had her, and we’re going to be thankful for everything she gave us in her much much much too short life. 

And I’ll grieve. Like I have every day since she left us. And I’ll cry. Like I have every day since she left us. And my heart will ache for my lost baby. That painful sour lump in my throat will get bigger.  And I’ll survive the day. 

I’ve felt like the loneliest most broken woman on earth. Life is in a holding pattern. I try to remind myself of all the things I have to be thankful for. My husband, my best friend. My family. My friends. My good health.  The generosity of those who have donated to Ronald McDonald House in her name. My writing.  And yet, even among these many things that I list, there is a huge, empty, void. She is gone. She is still gone. This void is here in me. Every moment. Every day. I miss her. I miss my baby girl. 

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9 thoughts on “Due date

  1. Oh, Rhonda. Those boxes of diapers on sale got me. I remember talking to my therapist after Richard died because I couldn’t stop thinking about the sunset beach wedding we were supposed to have in Bermuda. The therapist told me that when someone dies, we have to grieve them AND all of the things we didn’t get to do. Every plan dies along with them. It’s a great idea for y’all to go out for dinner and mark the day that you had planned for so long.

    • Ashley, I don’t know you at all, but your constant support and comments mean more to me than you could possibly know. Feel free to email me any time. Rhonda(dot)McMeekin(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. Dear Rhonda and Darcy
    Today is the day, my heart breaks again for both of you
    Today is another day of crying while trying to be strong
    Today is a day we had all dreamt of. I counted the weeks out on the calendar.
    Today is the day, I put my little baby outfits away
    Today is the day, I put my toys away, that I so carefully bought, so Everlee could have something to play with in Ontario
    Today is the day, I wrap my Winnie the Pooh Quilt away
    Today is the day, Grandpa looked at Everlee’s picture and said “what a pretty little pup” we had
    Today is the day, I walked into Walmart and held myself together while the little Easter Dresses were in front of me
    Today is the day, when I went to Walmart to get something to help me sleep, instead of dreaming about all the what-ifs
    Today, is the day we change our airplane flights, that were booked to see your baby, to another time
    Today I am going to try and have a new beginning. I will try and be strong for my children.
    Today, I am going to pray that you and Darcy, can look forward to one small “something” everyday.
    Today, is just another day of so many days, that I want to hold my children and make the pain go away.
    Today, is the day, that I say once again, I love you so much
    Today, is the day, that I say, I will love you Forever, Everlee, my darling Granddaughter

    • I know there is no pain worse than the Mom and Dad but I feel so bad for my Sister, Kathy who wanted this little granddaughter, her first so bad. She and Her husband Dennis are just devastated.

  3. I have a feeling in the coming years we will be celebrating her birthdays more often than we celebrate yours 🙂 The line about pushing the stroller around broke my heart. Just yesterday I was walking through a store and I saw something and immediately thought about how I wanted to buy it for you for her.. It surprises me that sometimes I still get caught out like that. It isn’t that I don’t know she is gone, its just that it is unreal to me. You don’t cry alone today.

  4. When my eyes opened this morning first person i thought of was you Rhonda and Darcy, i opened my phone to facebook and saw Darcy’s facebook status, i lost it- no parents should have to deal with this day, espicially no parents like you guys, parents who truly wanted a little girl, who waited many years for their little girl, my heart continually breaks for you and you are thought of every single day ❤ I love you my friend

    • When my eyes opened this morning first person i thought of was you Rhonda and Darcy, i opened my phone to facebook and saw Darcy’s facebook status, i lost it- no parents should have to deal with this day, espicially no parents like you guys, parents who truly wanted a little girl, who waited many years for their little girl, my heart continually breaks for you and you are thought of every single day ❤ I love you my friend

  5. Dear Rhonda and Darcy:

    I re-read your blog from one year ago, and I cried again for all the feelings I have, that I try to hold in for one reason or another.

    You wonder to yourself, “Does it ever get any better, do you ever have a day when you don’t think about Everlee. So far, there hasn’t been one day that I have not thought about the three of you.

    Yes there has been moments, that goes by when you are caught up in the wonder of a situation, that you can relax and dream about what might have been. But it is always both of you and your baby Everlee that I think of when I am quiet and by myself.

    I look at all the beautiful babies and children on Facebook, and think, Everlee would have had this or that, or we could have taken pictures doing the same thing. I must admit that when you were expecting Everlee, there was times, that I felt lonely, resentful, bitter, because I thought my little Grandchild would not know me. I am too far away. I guess it is natural when you are this far away, and loved a child beyond belief. They say that being a grandparent is different than having your own child. Being a grandparent is seeing your children fulfilled and feeling happy. Really the only thing that you want in your life, is to see your children happy. There is nothing else that you want from the day that the child is born, until the day that you die.

    During this past year, there has been so many moments, like flying back to Newfoundland to help build your deck in July. But as I tried to help, I couldn’t help but think; I should have been holding my granddaughter and rocking her on the swing on the deck. I listened to Dennis sing songs as we tried to christen the deck with your friends and family, but Everlee was forever on my mind. We should have been christening Everlee. Maybe it was being back in Newfoundland, that flooded all these memories, but then I think, no, the thoughts and the memories are with me every day.

    We have been fortunate to take many beautiful trips this past year. The trip into the Alps was planned and it was absolutely wonderful. Every day there was a wonderful experience and I can say that up in the mountains, with the clouds and sun, I felt closer to Everlee that I suppose I will ever feel. As we saw a rainbow, while walking along a street in Lake Annecy, both your Dad and I stopped and watched and prayed that someday again, we could see you both, happy and content.

    Then off to Florida and hearing the wonderful news that you were expecting your second child. Like every child conceived, we felt like it was a miracle. Every day we think of your second miracle. It has been hard to feel the same as when you were pregnant with Everlee. Not that we don’t love this baby, not that at all. I just think sometimes it is hard to let yourself feel the joy, out of fear. The things I enjoy most are the reassurances from other people that keep my hopes alive that your second child will bring you nothing by joy.

    I don’t know about losing a child of my own, but I do know what it feels like to lose my precious grandchild. I do know what it feels like to see my children in the most unbearable pain. That pain was the hardest thing I have ever witnessed in my life. After watching Darcy and you, go through losing Everlee, I have felt, that I have lost some parts of my son and daughter-in-law. Through the past year, you have climbed and struggled to regain your life, and in that time, I have seen some light returning to your eyes.

    When I have moments alone, sometimes, I sit and torture myself and relive those moments of Feb. 2013, because I want to get inside your souls and help feel the pain and take some of it away from you. But,,, that is not something I can do.

    One thing I did do was promise myself, that if you ever were lucky enough to have a second child, I would never again feel those selfish feelings that my grandchild wouldn’t know me. I prayed that if you were able to conceive again, I would never again think those thoughts. So far I have succeeded. I am happy with bits and pieces of news everyday it seems. I know you try extremely hard to keep us in the lope. You are not selfish about letting us in on the developments and the plans for this child. I have enjoyed watching the nursery change to allow a new little one to enjoy all the gifts and dreams that were given to her/his big sister.
    I have worried and wondered about every Doctor’s appointment. I have marked on my calendar, every week that has gone by, only after you have gone through that week. I refuse to mark the calendar up with dates that I have no control over.

    I have really enjoyed the name games, as you knew I would. My love of names goes so far back into my childhood and is something that has always given me pleasure. I was so excited when we first discussed names for your Always Number One Baby. It was so much fun. With your Number Two baby, it has again been the thing that has given me the most joy. I think it is because; it makes this baby so real to me. I go to bed every night, saying your names over and over as I go to sleep. I want a name that is beautiful and feminine like Everlee. A name that I think is so beautiful. Or for a little boy, a name that is strong and bright, like its Mom and Dad.

    March 24/2014 is a day when both of you can feel that you are doing the best that you can. I hope that you both can feel the joy and excitement and not just fear about the new child that you are carrying.

    I hope today is a good day for you both and more than anything, your Dad and I think of you both with love and devotion.

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