That’s about how I feel right now trying to get through my days. These anniversaries simultaneously loomed large in front of me like Kilimanjaro and snuck up on me as I went about my day-to-day activities. Sorting through the emotions while also parenting and working and wifeing and adulting and living really feels like swimming through jello. I made forward progress, but it’s slow and sticky and takes a lot of focus to not make one giant mess.
The last month has been filled with “lasts.” Last Mother’s Day, I felt the first kicks of my girls. Last birthday, we were a family of four. At our last family reunion (we had our most recent one last weekend), everyone was so excited to see the girls together on the beach this year.
This time last year, we were gearing up for our anatomy scan and ready to feel like we were as “in the clear” as we could be.
Olivia is such joy wrapped up in this tiny body. She smiles and it’s like my heart might explode. She giggles and I want to cry out of all the love that I feel.
And yet, as full as I feel, there’s this tiny 8.5-month-old-baby-sized hole in my heart and in my family. It’s shaped like Olivia, but quieter, I imagine, more pensive and like snuggles even more than Olivia does (even though that’s hard to imagine).
This weekend, tomorrow, we will finally celebrate Catherine with family and friends. Instead of spending the day locked away from the world and grieving the anniversary of the day we found out we would lose our child, we’ve planned a memorial for her. We’ll gather together with friends and family to celebrate her and the short time she spent with us, and that despite all we went through, we came out strong and with our healthy, strong, smart, beautiful Olivia.
Catherine may not have been meant to walk this earth, but she had a purpose in it, and I will see that it is done. I will love her with every breath, with every fiber. I carried her for every second of her life and I will love her for every second of mine.
**As part of our memorial celebration, we are hosting an in-person and online fundraiser for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, which works to protect Texas women’s reproductive freedom. You can donate to NARAL TX in Cate’s name here.