An old year-2006. This last year has been very full. Full of sorrow, full of joy. Full of disappointment, full of hope. Full of questions, full of peace. Full of family, full of friends. I don’t look back on the year as being a bad one. But perhaps I will always look back on it with a tinge of sadness. Always, always, will I remember 2006 as the year I said good-bye to Emma. Thinking back on the start of 2006, I realize that we started the year with so much hope. Emma was doing well, I had been home with Emma for a full two weeks, the longest stretch I think since her heart surgery. We truly thought we had conquered Emma’s breathing spells by keeping her on oxygen, and though she showed some signs of still having trouble, I still hoped for the best. While Emma was alive, dates were not as important to me. The new year came with not much difference for me. We celebrated birthdays in February, but other than that the weeks are a blur without dates until Febrary 22, which will always stick clearly in my mind. Since that day I have experienced so much, and though many of the days have been filled with pain, more of them have been filled with joy. It has been a year of firsts, but rather than a year of Emma’s firsts we thought we’d experience, it has been a year of our firsts without her. Instead of watching her grow, we have had to watch ourselves grow stronger through pain. But I think I can truly say that it has been a year of healing, thanks to a loving Father.
A new year-2007. We start this new year with hope as well. The hope of a new child, the hope of more healing. We have birthdays coming up again soon. Elise turns 4 on February 1. It is hard to believe it was 4 years ago that I gave birth to her. After Elise’s birthday and my own though, I anticipate with hesitation the heavenly birthday of Emma. I’m not even going to pretend that it will be an easy anniversary for us. But I am not wanting to turn and run as I once did. I am ready to face it, to face not only the memories, but to move past them to celebrate the joy Emma experiences in heaven.