The terrible twos. My heart is heavy. I didn’t post an entry on Everlee’s birthday. I wrote, of course. I always write. But I didn’t post anything. I thought about putting words down all day for the blog, but I had nothing. My words were taken from me again and I fell silent, and for that I hope she can forgive me. I lost my voice with grief, again. I had flashbacks. I don’t know if those will ever stop. I’m told it’s a normal part of PTSD. My new normal.

The doctors thin cold hand on my leg

“It means your baby died”

And that’s when the world ceased to exist as I know it, and the roller coaster hasn’t slowed since.

This year I celebrated my little girl’s second birthday from the beautiful state of Florida with her little brother and her grandparents. The very place I went to escape reality when we lost her. We ate cake. We released balloons. I smiled. I did not cry in front of anyone (I cried a river in the shower). I held it together for the whole day. I don’t ever want Finnegan to think that his big sister makes his mommy sad. I want him to know that although my heart breaks that she is not here, she is, and always will be, one of the loves of my life. I want him to know her. She is the beautiful girl that gave me the honour and the privilege to be a mother. I will always be Everlee’s mom.

People don’t talk about her as often as they once did. I love talking about her. I love hearing her name. I love to be acknowledged as a mother of two. It always takes people back a little when I have to remind them that Finnegan is not my first child, he is my second (and I will always correct people on that). I don’t think anyone has forgotten Everlee, I would never let that happen. But it’s no longer in the forefront of people’s minds when they see me.

I’m not the girl with the dead baby, anymore. People don’t see death when they see me anymore. They see a normal mom. Something I longed for in those dark months after Everlee died, and now something that hangs on me like an ill fitting suit. I’m not a normal mom. I never will be. I know the sting of losing a child. With her went so much of me that I don’t think I’ll ever get back. But with Finnegan, I’ve gained so much that I never knew I could have. It’s a constant struggle to find balance. I am allowed to be sad, and to grieve, but I am also allowed to be happy, and feel joy and celebrate life.

That’s the duality of the situation I guess. That’s the beauty and the sorrow of two.

Video of Everlee’s balloon release