Her heart was literally ripping apart.
Our hearts were breaking alongside hers.
I needed her to hold on just one more month.
She passed away barely one month before Lillie's birth.
The grief still takes my breath away and shakes me.
I think it hurts more sometimes knowing what Lillie doesn't have versus what she could have had.
I try not to think about Lo playing peek a boo with her, tickling her toes when he unearthed them from her blankets.
I try not to think about how when I was overwhelmed with Lo's colic, how angry I would get when she could soothe him and make the screaming stop whereas I couldn't.
I try not to think about the fact that three years ago today, she was conscious enough to recognize me and Lo and reached out to rub his sweet baby feet, mere inches from the Great Granddaughter she would never know.
I do try to think about how hard she fought to stay long enough to see all of her children one last time, even if she wasn't physically awake.
I do try to think about how she pulled one on my Grandfather by enjoying every last second of her life flight to Atlanta. She had always wanted to fly in a helicopter.
I do try to think about how she would talk to me for what seemed like hours before I would fly overseas.
I do try and remember her face and everything she said to me.
"Jesus loved the little children, all the little children of the world... Bless your heart... He doesn't give you more than you can handle, so pray."
And so I do. I do pray. I pray every spare second. I pray when I'm scared. I pray when I'm overjoyed, frustrated, lost. I pray that there really is a heaven and that she's in it, waiting for me, for all of us, because I can't bear the thought of never having another hug.
Christmas was her very favorite Holiday.