I look back at pictures of myself prior to losing Harrison and it’s like looking at pictures of someone else.  This experience of loss has created an entirely different human. I now file memories away as before loss and after loss.  I wish I could turn back time and live as that person in pre loss state for just one day, but I can’t.

What do I see when I look at this picture? I see a busy Mom.   A women who loves her children and husband.  A woman who is so physically tired she finds herself searching for words.  A woman who lives in a messy house because there are not enough hours in the day.  A homebody that loves spending time with friends and family. A woman who is trusting. Her days are packed with little time for herself.  Her hands are full and her heart is over flowing.  She is happy!  She has it all!  The career, the husband, and the kids!  She lives in constant chaos but she loves her chaos.

 I remember thinking the weekend before Harry passed,”I have everything I want in life! Everything I want is right here. Even if it is the hardest thing I have ever done.” Now, I’m thankful for that memory.

So today I reflect back and read this list above and believe all of these facts are all still true.  But I am not the same person.  

Here is how my mind has changed..

I visit uncomfortable feelings EVERY day. I constantly am aware of Harrison’s loss. I spend time pining for something that is not possible. I daydream about the possibility that this is a mistake and my baby is alive. I daydream that someone is going to surprise me and bring me Harrison. This thought brings me incredible happiness for a split second.  Followed by intense sadness  as I realize it’s delusional and will never happen.

Life feels fragile.  I receive a phone call from Bennett’s school and my mind leaps to the possibility of his death.  When my husband doesn’t call me by 5:18 after work, I will fear his safety.  I fear the  mortality of family and close friends .  I look at pictures of sleeping babies and worrying that they are dead.

Additionally, my life is more focused.  I understand and better appreciate true love.  I have a mission to honor Harrison and carry his joy in this world.  I have learned how to support those in pain.  I am no longer afraid to approach when I don’t know what to say.

While I want to return to my pre loss life sooo bad. I don’t have that choice.  So I will get to know the new me. And I know I have a “new me” because I LOVE Harrison.  I will always love him.  This is the definition of true love. I will continue to love deeply and risk loss. I will love my husband and Bennett just as deeply.  As they are both worth it!  

So now I look back at this picture of myself and say, “Today is the best day of your life!  TODAY!  Savor every second of it!  Love deeply and absorb every moment!”  And even though I can’t bring Harrison back, we are still living.  And we are living lives to honor him.

So today we honored Harrison by completing our Harry’s Joy Misson as a family.  We are a few days off because I was out of town this week and we like to do our acts of kindness as a family.

Today we went to the grocery and paid for a young mother’s groceries.  It was wonderful!  She was appreciative and embraced my husband in a hug as Bennett and I watched from a far.  Her baby looked about Harrison’s age.  I know she will hold him a little tighter for us tonight.

We love you Harry!