One of the hardest things for me is all the things that we’ll never be able to see Jillian do or experience. I remember seeing her tiny hands for the first time. They were so tiny, but so perfect, and her fingers were so long and delicate. The first thought that went through my mind was that we needed her to survive so she could grow up and wear a wedding ring on her hand. Looking back, I feel like it was kind of a strange first thought, but I still think of it every time I picture her little hands.
I have a very difficult time thinking ahead and thinking about all of the milestones she’ll never reach. I think for the rest of my life, when I see a child who is the age Jillian should be, I’m going to be thinking about her. Dates like her due date and first birthday are hard enough, but I’m scared that I’m never going to be able to get past what should have been. I know that in three months, I’m going to be thinking about the newborn I should be holding. In a year, I’ll be thinking about the baby who should be calling us “mama” and “da-da” for the first time. In 18 years, I’m going to be thinking about the girl who should be finishing high school. In 30 years, I’ll be thinking about the beautiful woman Dave should be walking down the aisle (sorry, Jilly, we weren’t going to let you out of the house until you were at least 25).
I hope that eventually I’ll be able to focus less on what should have been, but there’s a part of me that feels like I’m forgetting her if I don’t think about it. I’ve already forgotten what her first and only cries sounded like, and I’m terrified to forget anything else. I remember the moment, but I can’t hear it anymore when I close my eyes. I don’t think I can handle forgetting anything else.