Wednesday, November 2, 2011

She's with me when I need her

I don't go to baby showers.

Doesn't matter who, when, or whether it's a boy or a girl.
I don't like them. So I don't go.

My sister Jessica, who is one of my best friends, is having a baby girl right around the same time Ella was due. Even though it's not my beloved sister's fault for the way these events have unfolded, it is still salt on an open wound. I hope she'll forgive my honesty.
Her shower was last night.
And I was expected to go.
I didn't want to. I didn't want to be the one sitting in the corner, holding back tears, watching everyone gush and coo and awe over all the pretty little girl things she was bound to receive. I didn't want to be the one everybody had to tip-toe around and wonder if Amy's about to explode.
During the drive out to Mesa, I thought a lot about my self-pity.

Sometimes I imagine that Ella is beside me, somewhere nearby, offering me words of encouragement during times that are especially difficult. I don't know if these musings are the truth. I hope they are. I feel like they are.
In the car I had one of those moments.
I dried my tears.

I was not going to allow my grief to ruin this happy occasion for Jessica, who hurts for her big sister and also mourns Ella's loss.

Still, I arrived at my mom's house (the venue for the event) with a bad attitude. But by and by, the longer I was with my family, the more time I spent with the people that mean so much to me, I felt my mood lift.
Not only could I hold it together, but I could even have a good time.

I'll admit I cast a few jealous looks at the girl who brought her 10 month old daughter. And I still felt like had an obvious mark on me, the "baby widow." But I was treated normal, which was what I wanted. And  my fears of completely losing it were completely unfounded. I was able to smile.

I skipped the present-opening part. I lounged with my brother in the other room watching tv and playing Angry Birds on my phone. And I was content.
After everyone left, I went to get some food with my friend, who is also a friend of my sister's and a guest at the shower. She said I needed a pick-me-up. In all honesty, I felt totally fine. I wasn't moping or crying or even sad. But we went anyway. I got some onion rings and had a lovely talk with her.

Afterwards, I chatted and laughed too loud with my mom and sisters. It was fabulous. Fabulous people just make for fabulous moments, it's a scientific fact. The night ended up a happy one.

I feel like Ella was with me last night. Even if I was talking about something else, or thinking more about passing another level on Angry Birds, or laughing with my family. I had fun. I didn't cry. I got through it.
And the most important part of all: my sister had a wonderful party and got lots of lovely things for her sweet girl.

My girl isn't here.
But she's mine.
And she's perfect.
And she'll always be here when I need her.


Unknown said...

You are so strong. Hang in there. Someone recently told me that mourning sometimes just sneaks up on you when you least expect it. You did a very amazingly strong and wonderful thing being there for your sister.

Heather said...

Grief most definitely sneaks up on you, it can be paralyzing. Yet look at you! I am proud of you for being brave and strong, it is never easy and I am sure your family appreciates your effort and understands. It gets easier but not without stumbling blocks and pain along the way.

I am so glad we ran into you the other day, it has been too long since I have seen you. Forget about the treat-healthy or otherwise! If you are ever up for a visit we'd love to have you though I most definitely understand the need for distance. Love you!

Jennie said...

Good for you. Baby showers are daunting. I've been to two so far. And only because they were really good friends who had helped when we lost Teagan. I'm so glad that Ella was with you. I don't think it is just your imagination, I think it is real and they are moments I treasure.

Lindsey said...

I love you Amy! You are a wonderful sister and a wonderful mommy. I love how you talk about Ella - she is lucky little girl. xoxoxox

Kassi Jane said...

I just want to tell you that I think you are amazing! Seriously you are alot stronger than most.

jen said...

You are awesome. Just know that. We understand. Loved just laughing & being together that night. It was great. I love you & I love Ella. I'm so glad she lifts you when you need it. Big (((hugs))).

Jessica said...

Love you so much Amy! I know you can't begin to describe, even though you have tried, how hard your life is without Ella. I know it is a hardship for you every day. I also know that my situation doesn't help and does feel like salt in the wound. But, I love you so much and I am so grateful every single moment of my life that you are my sister and that we will be able to see Ella again some day. I think about her all the time and hope that in whatever state my baby is in that Ella has been with her and knows her too. Thanks for helping with the shower. It was amazing and even more amazing to me that you were there for me when it was the hardest for you.

Marilyn said...

You did a beautiful job being supportive! I know that often times I get a catch in my throat and I think about Ella...we mustn't ever forget her even tho that pain gets a tad less with time. I love you!!

Momza said...

How could your girl not be with you? She is yours. Always.