You get an extra letter this month! Today would have been your first big holiday. We’re here at Mima’s and you would have been here with us. Everyone would have been so excited to see you laugh and smile. Since you died, I have spent a lot of time thinking about all the things that you won’t get to do. It’s painful. As I dig today and reflect to identify what I’m thankful for this year, I find myself thinking about this time last year – the start of my pregnancy with you. We did many wonderful things together throughout those 8 months. So today, I’m going to share what I’m thankful for – our time together.
November 2011 – I found out you were growing in there. We told our family and close friends. We celebrated Thanksgiving and entered the holiday season so happy and so excited. You were with me and gave me the strength I needed to say goodbye to your Great-Grandfather. You gave our family hope for a bright future in a time of such sadness and loss.
December 2011 – We decorated the house and the Christmas tree. We went shopping and bought gifts for Daddy and all our close family and friends. We celebrated the holidays and talked about how excited we were to share this holiday season with you.
January 2012 – We were elbow deep in thesis writing! I was rounding the corner and approaching the finish line of my graduate program. You kept me company as I worked hard and produced a thesis that I was so proud of.
February 2012 – We finished up that thesis! You were there with me when I presented my project and I was so proud! I’ll never forget bringing the final product to the post office. I felt so relieved and so excited to have accomplished a lifelong goal of getting my Master’s degree. You were with me the whole time. This month, my belly grew too and you were officially showing yourself. We had our anatomical scan, and then another one because you weren’t very cooperative. You were dancing away and it was so fun to watch you moving around in there! We celebrated Valentine’s Day and then Daddy’s birthday. We went bowling – I think you would have loved learning to bowl from your Daddy.
March 2012 – Always a tough month at school. It was so busy and I was very stressed. I’m sure you knew how I was feeling. The show we were working on performed and was wonderful! It was fun to have you with me while working on that show. Daddy continued to work on your nursery and we started to feel you move around – that was so fun! I was very tired, but excited for springtime.
April 2012 – Your first trip NYC! Your Mima took us to NYC to see some shows, shop, and enjoy the city that I love so much. We saw Newsies and you danced along with the music. We saw Once, which was so good! The last show we saw was War Horse. It was a very sad story and I was very emotional when it ended. I remember thinking that it was the last time I would take a trip like this with my mom, but then looked forward to the first time we got to take you. We also walked around the botanical gardens and I took lots of pretty pictures of flowers. It was a perfect trip and I am so grateful that I got to share it with you.
May 2012 – This was a busy month! We hosted the family Mother’s Day gathering. It was the first time in a while that our family got to see my big belly. I was glowing that day. Your nursery was done and we got to show off Daddy’s beautiful mural to your family. It was so fun to celebrate Mother’s Day knowing that I would soon be joining the group of Mother’s. The following weekend, you walked with me as I graduated from Lesley and received my Master’s Degree. Whenever I look at the pictures of me in my cap and gown, I see you there with me and I am so proud that you got to share that moment with me. At the end of the month, we celebrated Mommy’s birthday. You really loved that ice cream cake.
June 2012 – This month started with my baby shower. You received so many wonderful things and it was so nice to see everyone who was so eagerly anticipating your arrival. It was a beautiful day and so much fun. The following weekend, Daddy and I bought some more things for you. Your crib arrived, your shelves were filled with books, and your changing table (made by your Grandpa) was in place and ready. We went and bought a fuzzy green rug and laid on the floor dreaming of having you in that room and playing with you. The day before you were born, we bought your glider – the last big piece of that beautiful nursery.
On this day of giving thanks, I am so thankful for the time we had together and all that we got to do together. You were a huge part of our lives long before you physically arrived in this world. I am thankful for every kick and punch you gave me to remind me that you were with me. I am thankful for the strength you provided me to get through a tough school year. I am thankful for the experience I had with the doctors throughout my pregnancy and delivery. I am thankful we had the time that we did.
It takes a little more effort and energy to be thankful now that you aren’t here. However, I am able to be thankful for some things. I am thankful for your Daddy. Without him, I’d be so lost. I am thankful for your Mima, who has been so strong and who’s strength is contagious. I am thankful for your big sister Halee. She has been an absolute joy and sometimes lays in my arms like a baby and looks at me reminding me that everything will be OK. I am thankful for friends and family who have been supportive and continue to remind us that they will never forget you. I am thankful for my new job, which provides me with joy and something to look forward to every day.
Finally, I am thankful for you, my precious Maya. You have taught me that life is a gift. You have taught me what’s important in life. You have taught me to find some kind of joy in every day. You have taught me to love life and be grateful for all that I have.
Thank you Maya. I love you always and forever.
Love and gratitude,