A year ago today, our daughter was born. Today, we should be celebrating with our friends and family, laughing, enjoying her first big milestone.
There’s a country song, A Little Bit Stronger, by Sarah Evans on the radio these days and every time I hear it, it makes me tear up. Here are a few of the lyrics:
Woke up late today,
And I still feel the sting of the pain,
But I brushed my teeth anyway.
I got dressed through the mess,
And put a smile on my face.
I got a little bit stronger.
Riding in the car to work,
And I’m trying to ignore the hurt.
So I turned on the radio,
Stupid song made me think of you.
I listened to it for a minute,
But then I changed it.
I’m getting a little bit stronger,
Just a little bit stronger.
I know my heart will never be the same.
But I’m telling myself I’ll be okay,
Even on my weakest days,
I get a little bit stronger.
Each day I get a little bit stronger. Each day I get better at ignoring the hurt. In the past year, my shoulders have grown very strong and I have become very good at carrying the pain around. Although some days all it takes is a song like this one to break that strength for a few minutes and allow me to feel the full weight of grief pressing down on me.
I could cry myself through this day and wallow in my grief, dwelling on all of the things I should have and could have, but instead I’m going to smile. I’m going to remind myself about how lucky we were to have her here with us at all and I’m going to celebrate her life and all that she has taught me – how to love harder, how to relax more, how to be more self-aware, how to be more forgiving, how to see the big picture, how to stop sweating the small stuff and, most of all, how to keep on trucking through life no matter what it throws my way.
Happy 1st Birthday, Cora Jane. We love and miss you.