I find her in every season.
Spring, first, because that is when we expected her. My spring baby, a new little girl arriving just at the time when the daffodils would start to bloom.
And then winter, the harshest season, and the one into which she was born. January, a month I’ve always struggled through, made terrible for certain, now. It was a cold clear night when I found out she was dead and a rare snowy one when she was born. The days after we returned from the hospital were grey and white and black. The grey skies, the wet black trunks of trees, the dingy white snow barely covering the ground. And my sight, too, seemed grey and white and black, colour seeped from the world, part of the enormous loss of her and of all our expectations.
Summer. She was conceived in summer, and this summer and last, I remembered all the time how it felt to stand around in the hot sun at playgrounds with E, wondering if I would throw up, trying to find shade and somewhere to sit down, wishing the sickness would pass but accepting it as a good sign, a sign that this pregnancy, after two earlier losses, would stick, was a keeper.
And fall. Fall was our happy season. The season where I made it to thirteen weeks and what I felt was safety. The season where we learned we would have a sister for E. The season of cozy walks, and making soup and cookies with E, and planning with R after E went to bed. The season of hope. The season of teaching E what it meant to be a big sister, what it would be like to have another baby to love. Teaching her that more people in the family meant more love in our hearts.
She is there in every season. I hope she always will be. I look for her in the different ways that each season presents itself: I search between the snowflakes, scan the surface of the winter-dark lagoon; I keep an eye out for the first crocuses and snowdrops and always for the daffodils (oh, the daffodils of spring); I soak in the heat of summer and my body remembers how it felt in the beginning to grow her; I kick up the fall leaves with E and the smallest, tiniest bit of hope surges, a trace of that expectancy rises with them, swirls about our heads and reminds us that once she was here. She was here. She really was.