I hold Birdie while she sleeps. She falls asleep around the same time each night, in my arms, after a bottle, and I hold her for far longer than I should. She's a noisy breather, often with her little heart shaped mouth partially open. I memorize her and enjoy the weight of her on my chest. I hold her for most of her naps too, morning and afternoon. Sometimes for hours. One day she'll be big and not want to be held, is what I tell Beau. Now I would have probably done it no matter what but I think how I only had a few moments to hold our Piper girl. How I wish I had held her longer. It's among the many regrets I have.
I can't tell you how long I held her there in that hospital room, maybe an hour, but it wasn't enough. Then I think would it ever have been long enough? It's all a painful haze with love as a strong under tone and while I don't really think our girls favor each other too much, aside from their noses, there have been moments when I find myself searching for a hint of Piper in Birdie's sleeping little face. And it's there. My sweet baby birds.
While grief does it's ugly little dance, I cry silent sobs on her peach fuzz head and listen to my miracle snore. I read lots of things about grief and the authors efforts to describe how consuming it can be, how it shifts and threatens to ruin you then become a dull roar. All these people attempting to describe the worst sadness but you simply can't. It's different for each person and it can't be adequately expressed but the one common theme is that it doesn't ever go away.
As my grief holding hands with Andy changes I find myself putting it in a box. In my mind it's a regular, medium-sized, brown box. Really, a boring, packing box with tape and all. This box sits in the corner and I sometimes look at it or touch it but last night I climbed inside it as I watched my sleeping daughter. I let myself relive those precious moments that I held out first girl. My soul hurts knowing I only met Piper sleeping. That she never opened her eyes on earth. That I have a whole life before I meet her again.
People say things like enjoy them because time goes so fast. I'm listening. I'll hold her here and her sister in my heart. And one day a long time from now Birdie will read these words. I hope she learns how much she is loved and cherished for just being herself but how she saved us and gave us new purpose.
I do not really feel all too positive right now but I'm thankful that brown box exists because before I didn't realize there was an option to climb out of it. My counselor said that I used to live in that box and she's not wrong.
Goodnight Piper, Goodnight Birdie.
Rest easy Piper girl, until we meet again.