I was pushing my cart through the floral section of the grocery store on Christmas Eve. I was looking for a balloon to take to Carter. Somehow they were just all wrong..."Get well soon", "Smile", ones with giant happy smiley faces. Finally, I picked a little one that just said "I love you". I tried to fight back my tears as I paid for my groceries and left. I was, once again, mad that this was my life. Disappointed that the dreams I had for my life would always be broken and sad that the innocence of life had been tainted.
There was a deep, deep sadness as I drove up to Carter's grave. I had been having a hard time and I knew I just needed to spend some time with my boy. I put his balloon next to his Christmas tree and cried. And cried. I wished with all of my heart that he could be there in my arms. I longed to see him cruising around the house with Cohen throwing ornaments off the tree. I wanted to fill his stocking with things he could actually play with. I wanted to plop him in front of the tree and take his picture.
We still struggle with the fact that Carter isn't here. Yes, this year was a little "easier" (that never seems like quite the right word), but it was still hard. It was a reminder that while we can carry on with our day to day lives in a more graceful way than last year, that pain is still there and will always be there.
In the midst of the "most wonderful time of the year" we still had to take time out to grieve. And to cry. And to miss our little boy. While we have done a lot of healing over the last year, I don't think I will ever stop wishing that he was here and wondering what life would have been like. When a piece of your heart is gone, you can't help but want it back.