We had a good weekend. The kind of weekend we used to have. Just us three, exploring and adventuring. On Saturday we went to the farmer’s market, had a picnic lunch, all enjoyed naps and then went out for ice cream. Afterward, sticky and satisfied, we walked around the lagoon to visit Anja’s bench, E and I collecting flowers (well, weeds; I don’t let her pick the ‘real’ flowers) to make a bouquet for Baby Sister. When we arrived at A’s bench there were two women sitting there, but we just hung around picking blackberries and watching the ducks until they left and then we all sat for a few moments until E’s squirminess got the best of her and up she got to pick more blackberries. She and R wandered back and forth picking blackberries and bringing them to me to taste while I sat and watched them, stared across the lagoon at the view that is mostly the same except leafier, greener than it was on January 13, and felt a kind of peace I don’t think I have felt since before that day, the worst of my life.
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Today I have been thinking of that movie ‘Sliding Doors,’ where if the main character had not missed her train one morning her entire life would have played out differently. Today is the one-year anniversary of the due date for the first pregnancy we lost after E, and I have been wondering how different our lives would be had that pregnancy stuck, had it been like the second pregnancies of so many of my friends and resulted in a living, squirming, turning-one-year-old baby. Imagine erasing the last year and a half of heartache. Of course, that would mean erasing A. And I wonder: would I make that choice if it meant I had that living one year old in my arms tonight? I know the answer is yes. I loved Anja. Love her still and always. But I would not choose this life. If I could go back and make some slight alteration that would change everything else, too, I would, in a heartbeat.
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E always asks the most interesting things about her Baby Sister right before bedtime. Tonight she asked, out of the blue, ‘Mommy, did you have time to ask Baby Sister why she died?’
The other night she asked, ‘Mommy what is a memorument again?’ I knew what she meant, because R has shown her the memorials in the park for the victims of the Air India crash and for the soldiers who died during World Wars One and Two, so I explained briefly to her that they were statues or artwork made to remind us of loved ones who had died. ‘Mommy, why don’t we have a memorument for Baby Sister?’ I told her that was a very good question and asked her if she’d like one. Her answer was an emphatic ‘yes’ and I realized suddenly her need for something concrete. She has so little: she has never seen the pictures of her Baby Sister, never saw her or held her, and we have nothing that we bought or made for A before she died that could at least serve as some kind of remembrance for E. I think it is time now to memorialize A for her big sister, to create our own ‘memorument.’ I have asked E what she thinks would be right and she said she is working on it. Oh, that kid. Three and a half years old is way too young to be planning ‘memoruments.’
I’m sorry little E. I wish and wish and wish some more that everything had turned out differently for you, for all of us.