This is going to be a bit of a tough month. On the 26th we will be going through the 7th anniversary of Katie’s passing. She passed away February 26th, 2007. Trust me it doesn’t get easier year after year. The pain just comes rushing back each time. I experience the pain all the time, each time I look at something she wore or touched, but it is more poignant during this time.
I have good days and bad days. I have to be strong for Juli. She still doesn’t understand a lot. We tell her she had a sister and we show her pictures and tell her all about Katie, but she just knows her as a picture. She doesn’t understand who she was or where she is. Not sure if that makes it easier or harder for me. I often take her to Katie’s Place, and she sees Katie’s stone and Katie’s garden, but Juli really doesn’t know what is all for.
Try explaining all of this to a child who is emotionally 3 years old. She may be 4 1/2 years old but with her delays she is more like a 2 1/2 or 3 year old. Not easy. The questions come out but she doesn’t understand the answers.
I’m not sure if that makes it easier for me or worse as I have to focus on Juli and she doesn’t understand things. So it’s different than if she was older, understood everything and would be talking about it with me. This way I don’t have the ability to really think about things and grieve if I need to. I start thinking about Katie and I’m actually enjoying my thoughts and within a few seconds Juli is calling me and bringing me out of those thoughts. There are times when I really do want to just think and remember and revel in my thoughts and I can’t.
Like now, I am writing this and Juli crawls into my lap and starts teasing me. Never a moment to yourself when you are a special needs mom. I love her to the utmost, but sometimes I would like to devote a little time to Katie too or at least her memory :).
This month is tough. I don’t want that to affect how I am with Juli, but I do need to take the time and handle the month how I need to. Living farther away from where Katie is buried is not so easy either… I can’t just drive 10 minutes and go visit her anymore. That used to make things easier. I wear a little angel around my neck now. She was given to Katie while she was still here and I wear that so that I can always touch something she touched and be close to her. So now I have my little angel around me neck.
21 days till the hardest day of the year will be here. I am very blessed to have my Juli now to distract me though so that I don’t go down too deep in my emotions. Juli is the miracle in my life that I am so thankful to have. I am also very blessed to have my family and friends around to support and comfort me.