Nearly a decade has passed, but there are moments it feels like yesterday. Zoey’s birth didn’t seem real—too entangled with fear and disbelief that something so terrible could be happening. But she was born—on May 1, 2014. And time marched on, no matter how surreal.
I still miss her. I am continuously walking a parallel line between the deep sadness of her death and the elation of welcoming our boys to the family. Even in the moments that I’m fully engaged in the joy and laughter of our boys, the ache is there deep in my soul. One moment I’ll be laughing along with their antics, and the next, I’ll feel the pain of grief. I’ll remember that she should be nine. I’ll picture her playing with Barbies. Dancing in the living room. Helping me bake brownies. Because in my imagination, she’s unburdened by physical difficulties.
And that’s ok. I don’t actually want the pain to go away. If it went away, it would mean I’m forgetting. I don’t want to forget. I will continue walking the line. Moving forward, rather than moving on. Finding joy. Accepting the ache.
A few weeks ago, Jordan took a picture of Zoey off the nightstand. He asked if it was his sister. I nodded. He said, “I love her,” and kissed the photo. My heart exploded with love for these sweet little souls: my daughter who left us too soon and the boy who somehow knows her even though they’ve never met.
Today, I celebrate my tiny little human with her soft, bunny feet and piercing blue eyes. I remember the moment I held her for the first time, staring at her beautiful face, knowing life would never be the same.
Happy birthday, Zoey. We love you.