I’ve had my hang ups about moving…leaving the house where I have so many memories of her. The house where she colored on the walls and blamed her sisters. The house where she put stickers all over her door, only to take them off upon my request, and then just rearrange them. The house where she spend probably nearing hundreds of hours glued to YouTube, and playing dolls with Norah. The house where we would clean out the car together in the summertime, and the house where I tucked her into bed every single night. I would say “I love you, Poot!” And she would say, “I love you too Muh-Muh! Can you read us a story?” And honestly, most nights I would say I was too tired. God, why did I have to say that so many damn times? Why couldn’t I just spare 10 minutes out of my night for her? Collectively, that would have meant so much more time I could have spent holding her.

These are her things. These are her favorite clothes, her favorite toys, her unwashed bedding, her dirty stuffed animals she would never let me wash. These are her memories. These are my greatest treasures. If my house were to burn down, and everyone was safe, but I could grab one thing, it would be this particular box. Jude’s things. She shared everything with Norah and Hannah, her clothes and toys both. But these things. These were hers only. They are my memories now.

I keep finding myself whispering “Judy come home please” even though I know that’s impossible and I’m not even sure if she can hear me, but I have to believe she can, because if not, I couldn’t keep going.

I miss her presence with every ounce of my being.

She was so full of life. I understand anatomy and biology, yet I still don’t understand how she is just gone. I know what happened, and I could explain it to you in words that would make you think I actually went to college, but I still don’t understand. Life is scary. It just ends sometimes, without any warning. I always thought I would be able to *feel* if my kids were in danger. I always assumed there was a string connected from my hearts to theirs. But I had no idea. In fact, when I got the call at work that they had been in an accident, I thought it was going to be a dent in the bumper of my sisters car, and they would just ride back up to the house with me. My whole drive there, was me worrying how my sister was going to get back home to Tennessee. I didn’t feel them. I didn’t know. I still don’t feel her. This is not what I expected. Losing a child is like nothing anyone can imagine, so please know that when you say to me “I can’t even imagine”, that in my head, I agree with you, and I am beyond grateful that you can’t imagine.

We told Hannah last night. We waited a month and 6 days to tell her, her little sister is dead, but we told her.

The Book Of Jude

It did not have to happen

 In 1971 J. Standard Baker Quoted " Drivers Towing Trailers  Are Four (4) Times As Unsafe As Those In Cars Alone! 

“How are you doing?” & “I can’t imagine!”

We told Hannah last night. We waited a month and 6 days to tell her, her little sister is dead, but we told her.

We were waiting for her to be able to communicate, rather than just respond to questions, and that time came. People keep asking me how she took the news. I don’t really know how to respond to that question. She took it as well as she could, which is not at all. There is no “she’s okay” or “we’re okay” because none of us are okay.

When we finally calmed her enough, I asked if there was anything in the world we could give her to help her feel better, and she stopped for a few seconds, a tear fell from her bad eye, and she said “Love?”

Norah has known since the day of the funeral. We just cried together for the first time since, the night before last. She is feeling her absence now. She is starting to understand death. I don’t want my little girls to have to understand death yet. They’re so little.

I’m starting to understand that my sweet, beautiful, wild, baby is not coming back. Losing your child hurts from the time it happens, until you die. I know that. What I didn’t see until now, is that it doesn’t get better with time. This is not one of those wounds that “only time can heal”. This wound gets bigger and bigger, every day I have to wake up to the thought, “Judy is dead”. I can’t see her, I can’t hear her, call her, feel her or smell her weird little smell (kind of like maple syrup and stinky baby feet).

I wish I had treasured more of my time with her. I feel like I was always in such a hurry for one thing or another, but I can’t even name one of those reasons now.

This is my view right now, from the bathroom floor of Hannah’s Hospital room

Packing her things

We’re moving next week. This has been the plan for years. The deal was always, after we’ve lived here for 2 years, we get a rent to own house in their school district. What we didn’t plan was only taking 3/4 of our children with us, and starting a life with just “The five of us”.

Today it hit me hard. Today I realized, when I pack everyone’s things up, and get them to the new house, I won’t be unpacking her boxes. All her stuff will be there, but she doesn’t have a room anymore. She doesn’t have a closet for me to cry in. She doesn’t have a bed for me to remember laying with her in. I’ll have no memories of being with her there; only without her.