It was on my mind before I ever held Anna in my arms for the first time. I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage it, I had seen it done but there was usually a second person to help, a husband or partner in crime.
What if I had to go the bathroom?
My younger brother was getting married 2 months to the day after Anna’s arrival. Anna and I were going to Ohio for the first time together, just Anna and I.
I remember waking up in the morning before our flight out, taking a deep breath, saying a very long prayer for safe, peaceful travel with my girl and checking to make sure I had all of my bases covered.
I was prepared and ready for anything that could possibly happen.
That was our first trip together and probably the easiest as she sleep almost the entire time. She was two months old and we had the perfect rhythm together, we were going to travel the world someday.
Yesterday was my first trip to my parents house without my girl.
I armed myself with lots to do and focus on, so that the sadness of her absence didn’t overwhelm me. Books, my husband and a bag of Love Rocks kept my mind busy as I ventured outside of my comfort zone ~ a place I often avoid, preferring to stay close to my house and the girls’ tree.
There were so many trips together to visit family. We had so much fun traveling and as we landed I couldn’t help but remember how excited she would get as we got closer to our destination.
As we landed I closed my eyes and envisioned her standing in the seat next to me, “We are in Ohio and I’m going to see Nana and Papa,” she would yell to all the other passengers on the plane.
She was always so elated by this fact.
Through my sadness I smiled.
As I exited the plane I left a Love Rock on the seat for someone to find. They will not know the significance of that particular Love Rock, the gesture helped me focus on the love and joy of my girl, helping me to stay afloat so I could find my parents, who were waiting for us at baggage claim.
As we came down the escalator I could see my dad sitting waiting for us and another memory came rushing into consciousness, Anna’s first encounter with her papa.
It was after that first flight together and, like yesterday, my parents were waiting patiently for our arrival. Anna was a mama’s girl and I was nervous she would cry and not want to be held by her Nana and Papa. After our initial hugs and kisses I handed her to my mom, they both smiled. Then my mom turned her around to face my dad, I grabbed my camera.
The bond that my daughter had with her Nana and Papa is what makes me happy today; looking at this photo helps me focus on the love and joy that she has given every one of us in her short life here on earth.
Yesterday when I got up I took a deep breath and I said a very long prayer for safe and peaceful travel without my girl. God granted me that peace and continues to provide me the reassurance that, even though my heart is broken, there is love and joy to be remembered and felt.