To MY daughter Haddie Bo Bo,

I know it’s been awhile since I have written.  But know that you are in my mind all the time.  Literally….ALL THE TIME.

This will be our 4th Christmas without you.  Just typing that out I can feel my eyes start to fill and the blood drain from my head, to my arms, and on down to the rest of my body.  How is that possible?  This is the first year I set up our big Christmas tree since you left.  After I did it I almost immediately regretted it.  Not because your little brother starting chucking the glass ornaments like they were baseballs.  But because of what this symbolizes.  Does it mean I’m ok?  That we are moving on?  That the holidays without doesn’t hurt as much?  I’m sure that the people around us think that….maybe HOPE that.

But it couldn’t be farther from the truth.  As I sit here watching my Hallmark Christmas movie for the night, and stare at my Christmas tree, guilt washes over me.  I can already hear the comments coming in, “Don’t feel guilty…Haddie would want you to celebrate…She is always with you…”  While I truly truly appreciate the meaning behind these words they mean nothing.  They change nothing.  Our joyous moments will always be mixed in with our sad and devastating moments.

No matter how much people want that not to be true…it is.  I know that people want and hope that things get easier.  Somethings NEVER will.  In somethings the pain has become less raw….and has developed into something else.  A different filter?

I know that people talk.  I know that people don’t understand.  Maybe they think I’m being selfish.  Maybe I am.  But when your whole world is turned upside down….never to be right again.  I think you earn the right to be a little bit selfish.  To make those decisions that are right for you…for your family.  To preserve your memory.  Your spot in this family.

Today we had your sister’s school conferences.  She is sailing through school with expected brilliance.  She is so smart.  Her teacher showed us this picture and story she made about our family.  It was the first picture she has drawn of our family that she left you out.  Or she forgot to draw you.  As I looked at the picture, I was so proud of her work, but a part of my heart sank.  She’s forgetting.  I’m forgetting.  Others are forgetting.  And as much as I consciously try to keep you here I know that it gets harder.  It gets harder to keep you a part of everything.

But please know baby girl I would do anything to go back.  To change that day.  To have you here with us.

I love you,