On March 18, 2007, my life was suddenly shattered. My heart was forever broken. I woke up that morning to find my daughter, Natalie, had passed away in her sleep. Suddenly I was living every parent's worst nightmare. Natalie was only 19 months old. She was a happy and healthy little girl with a pure heart that was full of love and sweetness. As I write this now 16 months later, I still cannot believe she is really gone. I still can't believe she died. She died. Oh, my god, she died! How could this have happened to her? To our family? And now, 16 months later, after the rest of the world has moved on with their lives, I am still here. Still living the nightmare of March 18. Still in agonizing pain. Still constantly missing my baby girl. Always wondering what she'd be like now, as a bright and busy three-year-old.
Natalie's passing is the single most difficult and painful thing I've ever experienced. No mother should ever have to find her child like I did. The horror of that morning haunts me each and every day. I cannot shake the images of her lifeless body, the way she looked, the way she felt. It isn't fair! But one thing I have learned is that life isn't fair. Bad things do happen to good people. Natalie certainly didn't deserve this. None of us did.
There will be much more about this part of my life WITHOUT my child in future postings.
Now, let me introduce the other half of my life WITH my child. Roslyn, Natalie's big sister, is now almost 5 1/2. She is growing by leaps and bounds and radiates with self-confidence and charm. In so many ways, she is my savior. She is my reason for getting up in the morning, and a big part of what brings a smile to my face despite my overwhelming grief. It's such a bizarre dichotomy to feel so much happiness and so much sadness all at the same time. Sometimes I feel a little bit crazy.
Roslyn continues to delight me. She took this picture herself. Yesterday she drew a picture for me. It's a picture of me in my Halloween costume as a bumblebee standing on our very colorful (in the picture anyway) living room rug. I took it to work today and proudly hung it on my office wall. Seeing it makes me smile.