Roslyn took this picture of the three of us on March 3, 2007. This was the last time we took pictures of Natalie. I wish we had more.
I've spent much of today thinking about my last day with Natalie, two years ago. We were both sick and the weather was terrible. It wasn't our best day. But we still had fun, us three girls, while Chris was at work. Natalie's energy was pretty good. She didn't nap well. After dinner, the four of us were sitting in the living room. Natalie and I were on the couch (the one in this picture), and Chris and Roslyn were in a chair across from us. There was a quiet moment when we all noticed Natalie reaching for her foot and brining it up to her mouth and licking it. It broke the quiet because we all started laughing. Natalie suddenly became aware of herself and looked to each of us with a look of satisfaction that she'd done something to make us all laugh. She seemed pleased with herself. It was a magical moment in which we were all connected through that simple gesture and our collective reaction. That moment encapsulated how spectacular and fun and amazing she was. She was the star.
I'm about to go to bed and I know my thoughts will be on that last night, getting ready for bed, and tucking her in. Natalie knew how much I loved her. Of that, I am certain. It is one of my only comforts through this terrible tragedy. "Nite-nite, Natalie. Mommy loves you, sweet girl."