I've told many people (most frequently my therapist) that I didn't just lose a baby when Olive died. When Olive died I lost the innocence that comes with being a new mother. I lost the toddler years, and the awkward preteen years. The disgruntled teenage years where she would slam her door and tell us just how unfair we were being over the simplest thing. The college and grown up years where she would realize we were right all along and make her way back to thinking we were cool again.
As I was sitting in church yesterday I noticed a mother with her two daughters a couple pews ahead of me. Her girls were maybe 7 and 9, and the older one would glance up at her mother with such a loving gaze. After awhile she put her hymnal down and climbed up on her mother's lap- she was tall and lanky, but her mother still found a way to cradle her sweet girl in her arms. I realized after awhile that I was crying (which isn't uncommon for me in church). It was so beautiful and yet so painful.
I often find myself wondering what kind of person Olive would have become. It's common to think about whether or not she would have blue eyes or curly hair like mom, but lately it's not the common things I long to know about her. What instrument would she have played? Would she have enjoyed watching baseball and hockey with her dad and I, or would she much preferred to curl up with a good book? Does her forehead wrinkle or does she chew on her pencil when she's concentrating on her homework? Is she an animal lover or good with kids? Would she be a nurse or an engineer like dad? What does she do in her spare time- cook like me or would she prefer to go out to eat and have someone cook for her?
When she's sad, would I have come over to her apartment with a whole cheesecake and two forks? Or would she have rather spent the afternoon doing a little retail therapy?
WHO would she have been?
That is who I find myself missing these days, not my baby, but my daughter. I miss the moments I would have shared with her. I miss not having the chance to watch her grow up into an amazing woman, sister, wife, mother, friend.
I know there is a greater reason, a greater purpose, that her life was only meant for us to have her as a baby, but it's hard not to long for those moments- selfishly, for us- not really for her.
I believe that Olive is safe and secure in the loving arms of her Savior. I believe that it was better for Olive (as it is for all of us) to be in heaven rather than here on earth. That's a hard things to say as a mother. Obviously, as you can tell by this post, I long for the earthly moments that we are missing. I do truly believe she is experiencing a better life than I could have ever given her. But since I'm here and she's there it makes this life that much more difficult to navigate.
I know the time we spend here on earth is brief compared to eternity in paradise, but the thought of going through life without her- without all of the mother/daughter moments I was so looking forward to just hurts my heart. Praying tonight that God would fill that emptiness back up with His love and comfort. And, with a glimmer of the peace that my daughter is experiencing now - a peace that someday I'll experience with her.