When my daughter passed away, I knew that I wouldn't watch her grow up. What this ended up looking like, predominantly, was emptiness.
I knew I would never see the toothless grins or hear the giggles coming from that grin. I would never see her determinedly roll over, see the excitement on her face of being able to crawl across the floor after siblings and pets, or watch those cautious first steps. She would never be able to run through the house as we're playfully chasing her around.
As holidays approach, you feel the emptiness where your child should be. I never got to see my grandparents holding her during dinner on Thanksgiving, her exploring the massive tree my mom puts up in the family room on Christmas, or her sitting at the kids table during family togethers with her cousins. We never got to do Halloween costumes or Easter Baskets for her. On Mother's and Father's Day, she isn't physically present to do fun things with our family.
There are times where I look at my children and can feel that empty space. I see the other things, things that nobody thinks of, that we were robbed of with Mary Beth. I never got to see her in school performances with classmates, never got to celebrate the first and last days of school, or take her shopping for new school clothes with her sisters. When shopping, I wonder if she would have the eclectic fashion sense that her little sister has, the more laid-back blase style of her older sister, or the fashionista style of her oldest sister. We never got to teach her how to ride a bike or even buy her one. We never will have the chance to see if she liked playing in the water. She never got the chance to go sled riding with us or build a snowman. She never got to experience painting her nails and using our make up to try to get fancy with her sisters.
Not only did we miss out on these fun childhood things, but, we're going to miss everything that occurs during the pre-teen and teen years. I'll never teach her how to shave her legs or argue with her over inappropriate training bras. There won't be any figuring out classes in school or any extra-curricular activities. I'm left to wonder what things would she be into- band, choir, softball, football, wrestling, etc. I won't get to deal with the "my mom is uncool" stage. We won't get to teach her how to drive or help buy her a car. There will be no sleep-overs with her friends or first boy/girlfriends or having to comfort her after her first heart-break. There won't be first jobs. We won't get to help her figure out her homework. She won't be here for any of our notorious late-night Walmart trips. There won't be any of her friends walking into our home saying, "Hey, Mom!". I won't get to go shopping for Homecoming or Prom or helping her get ready for these. We won't get to schedule senior pictures with my cousin.
As an adult, we won't be helping her figure out college, if she would have been interested in it. Would she of wanted to go in the military? There won't be any engagements or marriage, if that would have been on the table. There will never be grandbabies or grandfurbabies. I'm going to miss out on her talking with me while trying to figure out her future. There is someone out there that will never be part of our family because she isn't here.
We've lost more than milestones, we've lost an entire person worth of experiences and a chunk of our future. There's so much that was taken from her, us, and our family due to her death. We will never get that life back.
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