Our first holiday as a family of four. When asked how I felt about it all, my initial thought was "Well, it sort of sucks." It is nearing two years with out Ryan and as the pain still jabs hurtful feelings through out, my strength softens the blows. The pain is a constant ebb and flow of rain rather than the hard dropping hail storm it once was. It is not that time heals, it is that I am stronger. My pain tolerance is reaching an all time high. My children are making me strong.
Holidays will never be the same and will always have a lingering glow of sadness. Especially those that Ryan had a passion for; Easter, Halloween, Christmas. Seeing children hunt for Easter eggs. Children uncontrollably laughing. Children the same age as Ryan running on a sugar high, excited about Easter baskets and blueberry muffins for brunch. Ryan should be here! He should be here at the Easter egg hunt start line. This past Sunday when all the children ransacked the park looking for eggs I imagined my son running wild within them all. I thought of him shoving his way towards the golden egg, he would be so proud of himself. I saw him plop his body on the grass, only to begin cracking his found eggs open and dig into the candy...all before I had a chance to stop him. He should be doing this all, be he isn't here. He isn't physically here and quite frankly, it sucks.
While I miss my son deeply and the pain digs down deeper on holidays, I am blinded by the beautiful gift sent to me from Heaven. This beautiful little girl who smiles at everything and loves to chat your ear off with delicious baby coos. Our daughter stops me right in my tracks and reminds me it is OK to be sad and miss her big brother. She reminds me it is also OK to be happy and celebrate with her, Ryan's little sister. Living in between the happy and sad is where the magic is. As I think of living with waves of sadness amidst all the good in our life my daughter smiles at me and that smile says, "Ry Ry is here momma!" The happy is starting to out weigh the sad, and that is magic.
Mila has offered such healing insight for myself and my husband. She is so closely tied to her brother in Heaven. Their relationship is somewhat of a miracle. How lucky am I to witness it.
With that said, Mila's first Easter was pretty epic! The two of us were the first awake at 5am for her first feeding of the day. As I nursed her, her eyes were heavy with sleep. I whispered "Happy Easter Mila" and she gave me a large grin followed by closing her tired eyes. Such a soft and tender moment. Of course at just two months Mila doesn't have much interest in Easter baskets, eggs or candy. So her basket was filled with pacifiers, a sun hat for the beach, peanut butter eggs for Dan and Peeps for me.
As we embark on holidays now as a family of four the emotions will be mixed. Bittersweet. Of course more happy than not. Though the feelings of pain will never be far from us, our tears shed are that of sad and delight. Nothing is better than experiencing holidays with your children and I look forward to holding down our family traditions with Mila now in tow and Ryan following from above.
How lucky am I to be blessed with two incredible children! My children who are teaching me such smart life lessons a such young ages.
How lucky am I? Extremely!