(In remembrance ~ for those of you who have not yet viewed this beautiful video that Kinsey made for Vienne's Memorial Service. This is the one that I cannot watch. It is too painful, too hard, too beautiful. I save this for those times that I need a really good cry.)
I don't really know how to start this post.
I could go with the stereotypical: "It's hard to believe that we've already made it a year without our precious Vienne." ....or...."One year ago I lost my precious Daughter and the pain and missing is just as intense as it first was." ....but, we all know this. This is nothing new.
Instead, I guess I want to share some pictures and videos with you that are significant to me at this year mark.
(This is me and Vienne in our bath tub, at home, in Cannon Beach - just minutes after she was born. She was so immediately perfect - calm, beautiful, tiny, and healthy. How strange it is to realize that Vienne was brought into this world in water...and she left this world in water.)
(I've held off from sharing these cute photos of her in the tub because it took me a long time to be comfortable with looking at them. The very tub where her last breath was taken.)
(THIS is how I should've found my daughter on that horrible morning! Sitting happily AND safely in shallow water. This was the norm. This is what I walked in expecting to find.)
(I hope this is ok to post this video of her in the tub. A little tushy shows at one point. I am usually very protective about private parts. This was taken around 2 1/2-3 years old, I think. She is just sweetly and quietly playing in the tub. Nothing exciting. It's just the only video I have of her in the tub. Looking at all of these may seem twisted to some of you, but this is me facing my fears. I'm sorry if it is hard to look at.)
(My beautiful bathing beauties. This is actually one of my favorite photos. Vienne's smile is so captivating. Ivy is so chubby and precious. V always holding her sister's hand. Always. This should be my world.
Instead of currently fighting Ivy to take a bath, I should have my two daughters - the older one to help guide and encourage her little sister into the things she fears.)
(This is the last photo that was taken of Vienne - 2 days before on Sept. 4th. You've all heard the story before, about this dress. This was the first time she cared about wearing a princess dress. If you know Vienne, you know that she never cared or knew much about the princesses. A curiosity had just started to form.)
(This is another one of my favorites. It makes me smile and breaks my heart at the same time. Something speaks to me in this photo - it almost seems foretelling, to me. Ivy is lively and happy, looking straight at me. Vienne is quiet and calm, looking far-off...all while gently holding her sister. It's what I imagine Vienne to be right now, as she quietly watches over her little sister. Ivy's Angel, if you will.
Last Friday, September 6th, 2013, exactly one year after Vienne was abruptly taken from this world, was not as bad as we had expected. The dread and anticipation for that day was far far worse. All of August just seemed like hell to me. Moving homes at the exact same time as this one year "anniversary" was both good and bad. It did serve as a good distraction - it kept me busy and focused on something productive. But, it was oh so very taxing and stressful. Things did not transition smoothly and for a bit it felt like everything had blown up in our faces. There were many many tears. So, by the time that the 6th arrived, both Mark and I were just emotionally and physically exhausted. Our tears had turned inward at that point.
There was a big outpouring of love and support for us on the 6th, though, and that was very welcomed and appreciated. We received hundreds of Facebook comments and messages, along with texts and cards and flower deliveries. It meant more than anyone can know. We realized that days like that (anniversary type days) are more for everybody else. It's a day to stop, take a step away from your routine life and world, and remember our Girl and our tragic loss. For us, we live in it every single day. All the days are the same as they are all days without Her. By Saturday, the 7th, everyone can go back to their lives. That's fine and normal and expected. But, we cannot. It is still the same. So, it is nice to have a day where people can stop to remember.
(Friends of our's made this little memorial pic as their profile photo on Facebook and it spread around quickly. By Friday, most of our friends had this posted as their profile pic. It was very sweet to us.)
(This is Vienne's Uncle Seth singing Rivers and Roads, by The Head and The Heart. Seth feels that this song expresses his grief over the loss of Vienne. Listening to his emotional expression of this song certainly turned us into a puddle of tears. Lines like the following, really hit home for me:
"Nothin' is as it has been
And I miss your face like hell"
"If you don't know what to make of this
Then we will not relate
So if you don't know what to make of this
Then we will not relate"
I always love listening to Seth sing and his tenderness for our daughters is just one of the sweetest things to my heart. At the end of the video, you will hear Lacey saying "We love you, Vienne, see you soon." which is taken from a video of her where she says the same thing, like in the Memorial Service video.)
**As an update, we are now all moved in to our new place and starting to really like it. We are back in the neighborhood that we lived in when Vienne was with us. We want Ivy to get to know this neighborhood and all of her big sister's favorite places. Mark is already loving his ability to put Ivy in the stroller and walk to Starbuck's and the park...just like he used to do with Vienne. This place will be good for us as we start to put our feet forward and make baby steps to starting over again. Our hope is to start to feel somewhat settled, in this new life (however that's going to look), that we can look to purchase a house again. Right now, we just still feel lost and unstable to make such a commitment.