This morning as I opened Aiden’s bedroom door and peeked into his crib, two bright and crinkled-up-in-a-smile eyes shined back up at me. My heart squeezed as I reached for my son and as he cooed at me I felt a little heartache that stemmed from both joy in this moment, and a long-ago loss.

The seventh of September has been a hard day for me for eleven years now. Today Aiden’s older sister would have turned twelve. This year it’s a significant one for me because for the very first time I don’t just want to pretend the day is like any other day and that nothing is wrong or that it isn’t an important day to remember. This year I’m kicking myself for not having her garden ready in order to celebrate her birthday. This year I wish there was anything other than a dusty old pink box of tokens and a framed photograph of her in the dining room to remember her by.

This year, I look at her brother who is now the size she was when she died, and I wonder what it would have been like to have two children. I imagine a sassy twelve year old ruling the household. Had she been anything like her mother, I would’ve had a precocious pre-teen on my hands, that’s for sure. I wonder what she would have been like with her baby brother. I wonder if she would have been cheeky with Jon or loved him unconditionally like I do. This year I feel her birthday a little differently, because becoming a mother once more has unlocked a box of what-ifs, and although it’s not always the easiest thing, I’m so grateful I can feel her in my life again.

Happy birthday, my sweet little Kiera. I wish you were more than a memory.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Our very special girl.fone bur never forgotten.i look at chanel and think of you 2 on your pretend together and how much of a hard time you 2 girls would have given us. I would so anything for just 1 more day to hold you and have you and chanel coo at one another

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