Another year ends. For me this has always been a time of quiet reflection, but today the nostalgia is overwhelming, suffocating. I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of “what if”s and “if only”s.
I can’t quiet that wondering voice in my head, always questioning if there was something I could have done, a way to have kept her safe. I miss the old me, the ‘before’ me, pregnant with Maeve and, while far from carefree, I had such naive hope for the joy that her arrival would bring. I know I should be focusing on the joy that 2014 brought instead…the light in my life, the beauty and the hope. It’s not that I don’t appreciate what a gift Maeve’s little sister is, and what a precious year this has been. It just hurts so much without Maeve. Tomorrow I will no longer be able to tell people about the baby girl I had “last year.” My time with Maeve slips further away and I don’t get to make new memories. That chance was ripped away from me, leaving a shadow on my heart in its place.
I was driving earlier and an Indigo Girls song came on the radio. And despite the cold, wet, grey day, I was instantly transported back to a late 90s sunny summer when life was filled with hope and such dreams for the future. I grasped a hold of that feeling with both hands, but felt it quickly seep like liquid through my fingers. I held it though, fleetingly. And maybe that will be enough to carry me through tonight and into a new year with the infinite potential for joy, for laughter, for happiness.
So as 2014 comes to a close, my thoughts and my love are with everyone missing someone special, and those who have lost a dream and are struggling to hold on to hope. I am thankful for the incredible souls who have helped me this year and, inspired by another warrior mama, I choose not to make New Years resolutions, but simply promise to keep living with my heart open to healing and to whatever is to come. Which I think is maybe the very definition of hope.
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Jess McCormack became both a mother and a bereaved mother in April 2013, when her beautiful Maeve died during labor. Now she is so grateful to have Maeve’s little sister to hold in her arms, while both her daughters have a hold of their mom’s heart.
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