Dear Dorothy and Frances,
Another Christmas day is coming to an end and you two have been in my thoughts so much today. I’m learning that being a mother of two can be a bit of a balancing act; one that I still struggle with sometimes. However, days like today I am again surprised at how much love I can have for the both of you. On days like today, I’m reminded of how much love I am capable of holding. That’s an incredible gift that you girls have given me.
Dorothy, it’s our first Christmas since you’ve left our world last February. It’s been ten months and I keep waiting for it to hurt less that you’re not here. It doesn’t hurt less. I think I’ve just begun to accept that missing you and loving you come from the same place. Your father and I wish you could be here to celebrate this day with us but because you can’t we have started some traditions to keep your presence strong at Christmas. I think my favorite new tradition we started was buying a toy that we think you would have loved and donating it so another kiddo has something this Christmas. I’ve also loved hanging your ornaments on the tree. You have quite a collection already. I look forward to the years to come when we can share them with your sister and tell her about you as we decorate our tree. I will never stop wondering why you can’t be here with us. It will never make sense to me. But please know how much your father and I love you. Merry Christmas baby girl.
Frances. Francie. Frannie. (We’re not sure yet how your name will roll of our tongues, but we have enjoyed trying out all the different variations as we talk to you each night.) I know you’re not here with us yet, but you are definitely making your presence known. If personality in the womb transfers to the outside world, you are going to be one assertive girl. I am so enjoying feeling your strong, steady movements. You’re most active before bedtime and I’ve been sleeping well knowing that you’re there. We hit the 27 week mark today and while everything has been going well so far, I can’t help but feel anxious. Your sister and I started facing challenges at 28 weeks and I wonder how you and I will fare at that point and beyond. I remind myself daily that you are a different baby, that this is a different pregnancy, and that there will be a different outcome. I don’t think I really need to say it, but I hope that outcome is bringing you home with us. Your father and I are so looking forward to sharing our lives, our home, and our love with you. (I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but lately whenever I’m crying you’re quick to provide me with a little kick. I imagine it’s your way of saying: Don’t worry Mama, I’m here.) We can’t wait to see you next Christmas Francie-pants.
You both have received so many beautiful and thoughtful gifts this Christmas. Dorothy, some of your things are going in your special box, some are going out on our dressers where we keep your other belongings, and some things are going to be displayed in your sister’s nursery. Frances, I’ve put aside all of your gifts in the hopes that we will get to use them with you very soon including the bear that your great aunt Michele made for you. It matches the bear she made your sister and right now they are together. It’s so comforting to see them side-by-side, the way I wish the two of you could sit with each other.
And so Christmas is ending. I’m not as happy as I wish I could be, but I’m also not as empty as I thought I would feel. Instead, I feel love; joyous, aching, fulfilling, and heartbreaking love. I hope you feel it too.
Merry Christmas my loves.