It's hard to believe that Lola Jane would be 5 years old today.
The passage of time is such an odd and confusing concept- so long ago, a lifetime, myself a totally different person...yet how has 5 years passed already? What comprises 5 years of time? What experiences, challenges, changes, accomplishments, and shifts make up the entirety of 5 years of our lives? What has transpired to deliver us to who and where we are today?
So getting sealed in the temple, 5 more years of marriage, 2 more kids, graduating school, moving across country, buying our first house, getting a real job, starting a career,missing and connecting with loved ones, making and strengthening friendships...That has made up some of it.
This is the first year that I have not been in Utah on her birthday. It seems a bit strange, disconnected, but not necessarily depressing. Distant though.
We haven't done much today in remembrance- it's tricky because nobody else knows or remembers the significance of the day, a day that changed our lives, perspectives, and empathies forever. I don't' want to be macabre but I want to devote the proper reverence and appreciation it deserves. We are going to buy a flowering bush or tree that blooms this time every year as a beautiful reminder, perhaps a hydrangea since they grow so well here and I happen to adore them. Maybe replace an ailing camellia right next to our front door. We also got Cold Stone for a special treat which I am halfway regretting as we speak. I feel like I just spent an outrageous $12.84 (seriously-) to further derail my diet (post-vacation blues has done a number on me. It's been a week today.) and feel bloated and bad about myself. Woohoo. I decided that in years following I want to do a simple birthday cake. It's a simple, low-key, cheerful acknowledgement of the day, for what it should be. Celebration and remembrance.
I remember shortly after she died and I was wondering what life-purpose this experience held for me, since of course it's all about me, and I wondered if at least it would help me stay the course- if remembering that I had a perfect daughter in heaven waiting for me would inspire in me a lifetime of diligence and purposeful living. I don't know if that's true but I do reflect on it and sometimes wonder if I am making her proud. Most of the time I am afraid that I am not. I'm afraid that I would cause a lot of head-shaking, hand-wringing and sighs to say the least. I already fear disappointing those around me here on earth, let alone a perfect spirit watching my life and everything around me unfold in a frustrating ripple of oft-repeated mistakes. As I lamented this once to Michelle she reminded me that since I am a mortal I am not expected to be perfect...yet. I hope that's true as far as Lola is concerned, because otherwise I am surely a huge disappointment to my celestial daughter in heaven.
I wish I could believe that I must have inspired something worthy of mothering a perfect being like Lola, but I think instead she was born to me at least in part to inspire me to be worthy. Let me remember this throughout my life and perhaps I may prove worthy in the end.
I can't wait to meet her again. I know she is beautiful, awe-inspiring and I know she is amazing.
And I know she lives.