I still feel badly that Peyton's birthday is shared with the anniversary of Autumn's death. But there really is no getting around it. It wasn't planned - it just is. And the Lord knew what He was doing.
I had a good cry on the night of the 18th. Mourning the little girl who never became part of our family - gone before I knew her. I let myself remember not only her death - but life before she died. Both bring tears.
... and yet - my life is full of contentment. My girls bring me such joy.
Peyton is the walking, talking, jumping, rhyming, running definition of life.
Tenley is mischievous, glowing, affectionate and clever.
I wonder what our family would be like if they really were our second and third child.
I wonder what Autumn would look like now. What she would sound like. So many unknowns. Sometimes, when Peyton is particularly amusing (you know, when your child does something you just shake your head in wonderment at and think, "How did you become like this?") I find myself pausing and thinking about the little life which just vanished from mine. Those moments are still challenging.
I wish we didn't have to plan a graveyard visit and balloon release tomorrow. But I wouldn't trade it. Sharing that experience with Peyton and Tenley is our family's way of marking Autumn's life. She is the reason for so many things.
A journey to the graveyard on October 21st is our life. For better or worse, this is the family we've been given. The history we've lived and the future we have hope for. We are who we are by the grace and purpose of God. That's really good to cling to when my heart threatens to break again.
I miss Autumn. But I have peace.