This day…I welcome and dread it all in the same breath. That’s what happens when your heart is confused and overwhelmed with what to feel and when. Grief is like that. One moment it pulls you under and the next the wave subsides and you can breathe deep again.
Three years. I cannot believe it has been three years. It feels like three days since I last held her in my arms. Oh my heart hurts just thinking about it.
What I remember most though is her smile. When she smiled her whole face lit up and our world became a much sweeter place. She was happy 90 percent of the time. I realize now what an incredible blessing that was. Even with the daily seizures, her scoliosis and stomach and bowel issues, my daughter was filled with such peace and joy.
I think it’s because she knew how much she was loved. No matter what happened, I was with her, loving and supporting her through it all. We made the very best team, she and I. Day in and day out, whatever her needs were, I did my best to meet them. From changing dirty diapers on my adult daughter to massaging her back and hips hoping to relieve some of the pressure on her back to preparing one of her many g-tube “meals” that required weighing and measuring everything. I just did the next thing that needed doing. It was hard most days. Really hard.
But them she would smile and in that moment there was no more hard. Just absolute joy. sometimes she give me a laugh to go along with it and in those moments I won the mommy lottery. Every time she’d laugh was deep and loud and made her whole body shake. Afterward she’ get the hiccups which would make her laugh again. I would live off the joy of that smile and laughter for days at a time.
I think it’s what I miss most about her other than physically holding her on my lap with her head settled right over my heart. The weight of her in my arms, her face shining with a smile. That is the picture I keep very close to my heart, especially on days like today when my grief runs deep in my veins.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta said “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
The beginning of love indeed.
Today my friends, smile. Smile big and bright and bold. Let it take over your face and your heart. Allow it to spill over into your life showering those you care for most what love looks like.
Smile friends. Let your love shine.
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