If you know me, you know I like to have
some control in my life. I like to know what’s coming so I can have a plan A, B, C and D for it. But, if there’s one thing the last four years have taught me, it’s that life doesn’t happen like that — and it sure as heck doesn’t care what plans you have in place.
If there are two things I’ve learned in life, the second would be that life keeps on going — no matter what you’re going through.
Mr. B and I talk a lot about “our story.” We recognize that so many things that have brought us to where we are today are horrible and sad and difficult. But, we also recognize that without the ripples left by those things, the beauty of who we are as individuals and who we are as a couple wouldn’t exist. We appreciate — and are so blessed — that, through it all, our life together has gone on. To amazing places.
Mr. B and I met in 2011 — after my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My husband only ever knew the “after.” And, at first, that was hard for me — knowing that Mr. B would never get to know my dad as he was. But, I don’t think I could have gotten through that “after” without my Mr. B by my side. I know that I met him when I did because that’s when I needed him most.
Because I met Mr. B when I did — and we got married when we did, just a year after we met — I got to have my dad walk me down the aisle and I got to share a dance with him at my wedding. Before the disease stole that from us.
Before we got married, Mr. B and I had always talked about waiting for a while to have a baby. But, after we got married, we barely got back from the honeymoon and decided we simply couldn’t wait to have a child together. That following January, we found out I was pregnant with our Penelope Joy.
And because we didn’t wait, my dad got to meet her — and got to love her — before the disease took that from him, too.
And, perhaps the most difficult one to talk about — both the reason I’m writing this post and the reason I’ve been putting off writing this post for so long …
It is not lost on Mr. B and me that we have Sprout for one reason, and one reason alone: Penelope Joy.
If Penelope Joy had not been born, we may not have realized the immense capacity for love we had in our lives. If she had not lived, we would not have realized how full our lives could be.
At the same time, if she had not died, we would not have considered having another baby so soon. If Penelope Joy had survived, there is no way we would have gotten pregnant with Sprout. If our Penelope Joy had not become our angel baby, we would not be eagerly awaiting the arrival of our rainbow baby.
You see, life is like that. You can look back with regret, remorse and sadness — wishing things had been different, wishing you could change things. But to wish away all of the bad things is to wish away the good things, too. Would I give everything I have to hold Penelope Joy just one more time? Yes, absolutely. But, I also can’t deny that a lot of beauty came out of her short little life, either.
To live in the darkness of her death would dishonor the light that was her life, too. She touched the lives of hundreds of people. And the ripples she left continue every day to change my world for the better. And, for a 38-day-old infant, I’d say that is an amazingly full life.