Thursday, March 4, 2010

More firsts.

Everywhere I look, I see families. That was the hardest thing about Valentines Day. Not seeing couples on dates, Alan and I weren't big on the holiday, but seeing new parents out with their babes celebrating their new love as a family. That hurt. I was out and about, frantically doing errands while a sitter watched over Lily and I was almost oblivious to the day except for the families I saw in cafes and on corners. Many widows struggle with images of happy couples, walking the streets in bliss, but that never really gets to me. I'm genuinely pleased for their love and it reminds me that I, too, had it. It was short lived, but I was graced with it. But when I see parents together, oggling over their little ones - exchanging glances with one another, speaking that language that only parents share with one another, that is painful. My envy is immeasurable.

And that is how it goes. I am showered with photos of friends and their newborns, or families on momentous occasions and just like wedding photos, they consist of all family combinations and parent/baby portraits - I am fine until I see the father/child segment and then I fall apart. I recently had to see a slide show of images that covered close to forty years of a marriage and as the images progressed I had to avert my eyes. So many memories, trips, parties, moments - it was unbearable. Beautiful, but much too painful to watch.

How I wish I had just one photo of Alan adoring Lily.

This last weekend she turned one. She had a ball on her birthday, I think she knew it was a special day. In the morning she played the guitar and pet her new rocking horse, midday she celebrated with a hearty portion of mac and cheese with family and other mac and cheese loving kiddies, and she toddled all afternoon with energy she must have been reserving for the day. She was all smiles and busier than usual - had no time for cake, or naps. Sunday she went for her first haircut. Dramatic as it was she remains a stunner, inside and out, and even though she refuses hair-clips, I can now see her dreamy eyes once again. As I wheeled her home - locks of hair attached to a certificate - carefully tucked away, I longed for Alan. These are moments of a lifetime, and I feel such guilt that he's been deprived of them, and such sadness that we couldn't share the experience together. Lily's new "do" brings her even closer in resemblance to her father but as I observe her everchanging behavior and evolving personality she really is one of a kind. I know if he were here that we'd marvel at her animated antics - in jest we'd look suspiciously at each other if she did something "inherited", and we'd celebrate with humor and affection our truly unique sprite.

Just yesterday morning I caught a glimpse of her as she fairy flew (as her grandmother so aptly put it)the distance of her crib. It was 6:14am, and I've no idea what it was in her little mind that propelled her with such excitement as she reached the other rail - but she was awake and full of life, ready to cover more ground. I cannot believe we've already journeyed for a year together - quite a milestone for the two of us and her everloving dad.

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