Today marks the day you would be, should be, 3 1/2 years old. Momma woke up with an especially heavy heart this morning, and couldn't put her finger on why until glimpsing a calendar. Even then it took a few seconds for it to click. March 12. Your half-birthday. We only got to celebrate it with you once on earth...you never reached your second one that would have marked the 18-month milestone and the transition to the next size of infant/toddler clothes that already filled your closet.
It's hard to think back on March 12, 2011 when the pain of your loss was truly settling in with its harsh, sharp reality. This day was one of many milestones - many "firsts" - we had to face in that initial year of loss and grief. I can remember it felt like someone was pouring salt into the gaping, ragged wound that was my heart.
I now picture my heart as (somewhat) healed, with a thick, ropey scar that has forever changed its shape, composition, functionality. It is that re-formed heart that allows Momma to think about the 3 1/2 version of you with a smile. And, admittedly, some tears. I picture you piecing words together into longer and longer sentences, forming little, funny stories. Learning to actually play with your friends and classmates, rather than simply playing side-by-side. And standing at the bathroom sink brushing your own teeth, while Momma supervises. I see your brilliant blue eyes, and clever grin sparkling with intelligence and kindness.
Peanut, the world lost so much potential when you passed away. This earth needs more good people, smart people - people who will make a positive difference. And while you and your Peanut Effect have made a tremendous impact, Momma can only imagine what amazing accomplishments you would have achieved had you been allowed to stay just a little longer.
Today Momma is hitting the "pause" button. It has been too easy to get caught back up in the swirl of life, the insanity of work. It seems I have lost some of the clarity and common sense I found while sorting through my own grief. The time has come to re-evaluate, and rediscover what it truly important. It is only through that journey that I can and will continue to live a life that makes you proud.
Peanut, I think I will buy a balloon this afternoon and send it up to heaven for you to play with as you celebrate this day. I so desperately wish we could enjoy this sunny day together. I love you, I love you, I love you. How much? To the moon - and back, silly!