We have made it through our first Christmas without Waverly. We opted to spend the few days before the 25th in Cape May. It has been a favorite spot for our family and we have gone each June for the past few years. I thought the sea would be soothing to my aching heart, so we boarded the ferry and off we went. We took long walks on the beach and the promenade, the salty air unseasonably warm. We visited familiar favorites and missed her presence. We tried new spots and noticed everything she would have loved - the lights, fishtanks and colors. It felt strange to be a family of three when checking in at a restaurant. I wanted to wear a sign saying that our beautiful little girl should be there with us. That we ARE a family of FOUR and forever will be.
Christmas has been awkward for years. We typically can't make it through a Christmas Eve service without Oliver's anxiety amping up. The kids haven't been interested in presents for years. I used to try to force a normal Christmas routine - big breakfast, gifts under the tree, cookies for Santa, stockings stuffed with little treats. However I wisely realized that I needed to adjust my expectations and celebrate in the way that is best for the kids. Cartoons, pajamas, treats and Christmas lights. That is all they have ever needed to be happy.
Yesterday morning was difficult. I woke up missing Wavey. As Matt and I were sipping coffee and working on a puzzle, I received a text from a dear friend. Her son passed away in the middle of the night. He had Sanfilippo and was only 10 years old. Shocking. Utter disbelief. Suddenly my grief for Waverly was compounded at the loss of another precious soul to this horrible disease. And my friend and her husband were now joining us on *this* side. Grief. I am devastated for them, because I hate knowing people I love are feeling what we have been feeling for over five weeks.
Matt and I will be attending Miles' funeral in a few days. Our first funeral since...