I feel steady. I feel at peace. I feel happy.
Last night as we drove home from our niece’s second swim meet of the season I could hear her and her friend giggling in the back. In that moment, a lifetime of hopes and dreams and the past year of pain and heartbreak, all seemed to be settled in my heart.
Things are far from perfect and we still have so many struggles in front of us, but for that moment, all felt right.
I continue to struggle with my feelings of guilt for my feelings of happiness. This happiness did not come without great loss. I miss my sister-in-law daily and I wish I could share these amazing moments with her, although I know if I could, they would not exist.
It’s all very complicated, yet so simple. It all feels so normal, and like it has always been this way. I can barely remember what life was like before this, I can’t even bare to think of going back to the life we had before.
Although legally her name remains the same, she has asked that the school use our last name, her mother’s maiden name, the name her mother was trying to get back before her life was taken from her. Her swim shirt, and ours, have our last name on the back, and I have chills as I write that. I still feel a lump in my throat when they announce her name for her event. If it’s possible, I feel as though not only can I feel my pride, but I can feel her mother’s as well. I think it will always be that way, that not only will I feel joy in moments for myself, but also for her mother. It’s intense and amazing, and I am grateful to be the one lucky enough to experience it. I know I am not the only one. Each moment is even more precious, and emotional, and we all are so thankful to be a part of her journey.
I can’t thank everyone enough for their support and love the past year. I also apologize for my inability to be as present in my support for all of you. I tried spending my morning catching up, reading, and showing you all love and I hope to be able to do that more often now. I am sending you all my love and gratitude and hope that I can repay this community one day for all of the fierce undying support you have shown me.
Here are a few images of our last 6 months together ❤