I have begun to notice that with markers, the actual day of the marker is not too hard for me. Because I anticipate things a lot, it is the beginning of the month that is difficult for me. I realized with the beginning of February, that Holland would be 18 months old on the 22nd! I can't even describe how strange that is to think about. In so many ways, she is frozen in time as my two month old and I expect time everywhere else to freeze as well. She would be going into Nursery this month. She would be walking and talking a bit. She would no doubt be a chubby thing and probably bugging her big sister quite often. 18 months. I can't wait to be with an 18 month old Holly.
Since her death, I have tried to not think too much about what she "would be" at the current moment. At least not too much, because truthfully, it just makes me way too too sad. And I also don't like dwelling on "what-if's" or "what-would-be's." I don't think they are very productive or helpful. I am busy enough trying to cope with my life the way it is and accept my "new normal"! But I found myself crying and smiling thinking about her as a little toddler, finding bittersweet joy in being reminded of her as a person, a spirit, my daughter. And she will be my daughter through every stage of life once she gets to live it, just as she still my daughter, busy in heaven.
I like to think of her as the complete person she is, not perfect, but as a girl with her own distinct spirit and personality. The pictures below remind me of that. She HATED getting out of the bath and HATED getting her clothes changed. She was a sweet thing almost all of the time, but when this happened, she would scream bloody murder and she would turn all red. We would just laugh at her. And boy were her arms strong! She would clench them like she was flexing her biceps and sometimes it would take both Nick and I to pin her down to change her. I always joked how I had hope that she would be our athlete (cause Briz is ALL girl).
And she was also a big snorter. This little picture makes me think of how during sleeping, she would snort a lot. And sometimes we would be in public and she would snort loud and it was a bit awkward. But she loved to cuddle so perfectly.
I love thinking about the moments with Holland that made me laugh. One of my favorite things in life is to laugh at/with my kids :)
I miss my sweet girl. As much as I did 16 months ago, and in some ways more. It's a little daunting thinking and realizing that I will always miss her the way I do now, but I am glad I have something to remind me constantly of the next life and my reunion with her. And I am still learning from her death as I suspect I always will. This last week Briz was getting sort of frustrated with me as we were talking about why babies die. She wanted to know the exact reason why Holland died. She kept trying to say that Holland was sick. But she finally accepted and has still been chewing on the answer of, "Someday we will find out, probably in heaven." Her go-to answer these days to any question to which we don't know the answer is, "Welp, we'll find out in heaven!"
I love being a Mom and learning so much about God, eternity, the atonement, and myself in the process.