It has been eight days (technically, since it is after midnight) since your birth and death. I have taken to holding your teddy bear everywhere I go. When I am doing the dishes or picking up, I set your teddy bear where he can see me. I wonder how awful it was for you. I wonder if you felt any pain. I know you had to be confused. Going from being safe and warm to slowly dying. I keep replaying it all in my head. I wish that I could turn back time and do things differently. I’ll never smoke another cigarette as long as I live. To do so would be a disgrace to your memory. How can I purposely inhale something that damages my lungs when all you wanted was to breathe? Just the sight of cigarettes breaks my heart. I still have friends that smoke, and I have to look away when they light up now. My mom still smokes. I don’t understand how she can. You died slowly because you couldn’t breathe. She should value her lungs more. Everyone should. But I can’t turn back time. I can’t change anything. Somehow, I have to figure out how to keep moving forward, because I’ll never move on. I miss you so much, Carter. I wish I could hold you again.
I love you more than all the stars.
Dear Genesis and Cayce,
I know that I haven’t been “normal” lately, and for that, I am sorry. You are both too young to really fully grasp everything that has happened.
Genesis: You are the most wonderful, warm hearted little girl in the whole wide world. I live for your smile. You are so beautiful and sweet and talented. You would have been an awesome big sister to Carter, just like you are with Cameron and Cayce. I haven’t really explained anything to you yet, but I will. I just need time to heal and be able to wear a strong face for you. You deserve to believe that Mommy is bulletproof. I don’t want you to see Mommy breaking because you need to believe that you can always depend on me. Because you can. No matter how badly I am breaking on the inside, I’ll always be there to catch you if you fall. I love you so much, Genesis. It has been a privilege watching you grow up and it continues to be a privilege to be your Mommy.
Cayce: You are a stinker sometimes. You definitely have more attitude than your brother and sister. But lately you have noticed that something is wrong. You’re too young to really understand, and you’re around more often than Genesis is, so you see me break down more often than Genesis does. You have been super clingy, wanting to be held all the time. And when I am holding you, you are patting my back. You shouldn’t be comforting me, and for that, I feel guilty. But it is so therapeutic to just hold you. I could hold you forever and never let you go. I look at you and I wonder how much your brother would have looked like you. I wonder if he would have had the same big blue eyes and the same golden hair. You don’t understand. You just go on about your little life. I love watching you grow every single day.
Cameron: I don’t get to see you very often because you live with your mommy. But I know that you would have loved your little brother just like you did when Cayce was born. I remember how eager you were to hold her bottle. And I regret that Carter didn’t get a chance to do brother stuff with you. I know I’m not your mommy, but I include you because you are one of my children too. I didn’t give birth to you, but you are just as important to me as Genesis and Cayce.
So forgive me, my little lovelies if I squeeze just a little too tight the next time that I hug you. I’m just so grateful to be a part of your lives. You guys are my reason for living. You guys are the only thing that is keeping me going right now. You guys are the reason that I wake up in the morning, get up, and move around. Without you I would have already given in to the crushing weight of grief. I would have already given up. So next time you see me staring off into the distance, come give me an extra hug or kiss. Those are what I am living for right now.