I baked a cake.

I hemmed and hawed about it all day. I resented the idea of a cake for my dead daughter. I worried about how I want my living daughter to experience her sister’s birthday. But in the end, I baked the cake and tomorrow E and I will ice and decorate it after school and gymnastics and we’ll put two candles on it, and maybe we’ll sing.

Once I made the decision and set to work on it, I felt a bit of a lightening. M played on the kitchen floor with measuring cups and the sun was setting across the bay and I sifted flour and cocoa and it felt…okay. But since putting the kids to bed a weight has settled on my chest and shoulders and I am just so so very sad.

Two years. How can it have been two years?

I changed the water for the daffodils and trimmed their stalks before turning off the kitchen light and coming to bed. On an impulse, I collected the two straggly orchids my mom gave to E and I after Anja died and shoved them to the bottom of the trash can. I’ve been caring for them for two years and they just look sadder and stragglier all the time. I don’t need that kind of reminder.

Two years.

This time two years ago the oxytocin drip had started. This time two years ago I was 20 hours and 34 minutes away from meeting her, holding her, kissing her, and 25 hours and 30 minutes away from saying goodbye forever.

Two years, and it still feels some days like just yesterday.

Oh, my daughter. You are missed.