Update: This post is part of Angie's project at still life with circles, right where i am 2012. Here's my post from this same project in 2011. Kept it short this year in hopes that I'd have plenty of time to get around and comment on all of the other posts.
I suppose some would say that I'm actually at 4 years and 9 months since R died on the 26th and it's the 26th. But, honestly, I regret the circumstances of her short life just as much as I grieve her death--maybe more. So, 12 days it is.
I went back and read last year's post before writing this year's post and I've decided that I'm ridiculously predictable. Would you believe that I've engaged in the same activities and circled around the same themes in my head over the course of an entire year? Well, if you read this blog, you probably aren't surprised to hear that at all---yeah, yeah, infinite possibility, sorrow and joy, grouchy dog, left-wing politics.
When I search my closet today there will be some new stuff. I went shopping last week and bought some clothes that are neither black nor grey. Two of my new shirts have ruffles. I still want that monastic robe but mostly to hide my middle-aged spread. I smiled at the youthful stupidity of the returned college students who drove down my street this week towing a friend on a skateboard (with no helmet) rather than worrying about their soon-to-be bereft mothers and sisters. C asked me how I know she isn't really R last week and I didn't worry about her psychological health.
I've turned a corner this year.
R is just my daughter. Sure, she's dead but that's no longer the operative word. She is my first born. C's twin. A full member of this family with all of the associated rights and privileges.
I want to lounge around and watch TV with her snuggled on my lap, poking her big kid elbows into my ribs. I want her to hide a big-eyed unicorn toy behind the shower curtain to scare the bejeezus out of me. I want to argue with her about green beans and the importance of wearing a hat in the sun.
I can't do any of those things with her.
But I don't do any of those things with most of the people I know and, someday, I won't do them with C either. And it's alright.
I can love her just the same anyway.