I remember going to school the Monday after my dad died. I was 11 years old and in the fifth grade. I had my group of best friends - Kate, Amanda, Sarah, Soo, Valerie - we did everything together. I remember seeing their faces when I told them about my weekend and they all said the same thing. "You need to move on, get over it, it's in the past." As I got older I realized that they were young and didn't know any better, or at least that's what I thought.
Almost twenty years later I held my first daughter, not even three years old, in my arms as she took her last breath. At her funeral I saw people I hadn't seen for what seemed ever and I got the same sympathetic looks and although as adults these friends were more well versed, the thoughts were the same. "You need to move on, get over it, it's in the past." I couldn't believe that what I thought was simply eleven year old thinking and not knowing any better was the same thought process of my adult friends.
I live in my past. I live in it every day. When I wake up in the morning and see my two children, I realize that one is missing. When people talk about their children who almost died or lived through terrible ordeals and how the power of prayer brought them back, I'm reminded that my prayers did not yield the same results. Every year when school starts I cry just a little as I picture what my daughter would have looked like going on the bus with her older brother.
You know what? It's ok. I love living in the past. I crave living in the past. Sophia Loren said, "I've never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don't understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now."
So my friends, live in the past with me for just a few moments and look at some pictures of my sweet Lily Katharine. She was born on March 19, 2002 and died January 3, 2005. She is my past and my more importantly she is my future. I will see her again. She is mine forever.