September 9 would have been our sweet baby Quinn's second birthday. Her special day fell on a Sunday this year, and we had plans with my in-laws for lunch and with a group of friends for supper. So we took a family day on Saturday. And instead of going off somewhere and spending money that wasn't there, we chose to stay home and enjoy each other. Jason and the kids went fishing at the pond. I had been planning on making pizza for supper, the kids' favorite, but we realized halfway through the day that they wanted hamburgers. Because I was in no mood to go grocery shopping, I defrosted some miniature meatloaves and we grilled.
Once again, I had this general dread all throughout the day, and a sick, heavy feeling in my stomach. Last year, I concentrated all my heavy feelings and blamed them on the butterfly cake, but now I know that's what grief does to you. It can knock the wind right out of you. It can make you dizzy. It can leave you standing in the kitchen, paralyzed by decisions about handwashing the special dishes or piling them into the dishwasher because who the heck cares anymore.
Sunday afternoon, we stopped by her grave site to lay down some fresh flowers.
My second daughter. Helen's sister. My girl.
The other day, I found myself praying out loud that God would provide Helen another sister. I have no idea why that prayer came out, because we are sooooo done having kids. I was mourning for Helen's loss all over again. I sponsored a Ugandan girl through Compassion International, but she's not a sister.
It's just that when I see my kids, I see a hole where Quinn is supposed to be. Which is why I cannot get over these pictures. I do not understand how this happened. I'm not sure I want to understand, so if you have some technical answer to how the sun's angle played with my camera lens, I don't want to hear it. I just want to treasure the mystery and miracle of this rainbow.