February 2011, the six month anniversary of Everett's birth and death was the absolute most hardest for me. It's when the shock fully "wore off", and reality, or integration, set in. It was hard to breathe, it was hard to cope, it was hard to make it through a single day without crying and feeling miserable. As the year went on, that feeling became a little more tolerable each day. We focused on Everett's race and building a legacy for his life that will always mean so much to us. It felt like August would never get here and then somehow it did. We found out we were expecting baby number 3 and held the first Run 4 Everett. It was a huge success, raising around $10,800 for the Kate Carmichael Stillbirth Program, AKA: Kate Cares. It was more than we ever expected it would be.
The holidays have been tolerable this year, where they weren't at all last year. I felt like I could cope better, but the feeling of someone really important missing from our lives lingered all month long. It set in on Christmas day and I felt really depressed all day long. We planned to go to the cemetery to visit Everett and I just couldn't do it. I knew if I did I would break down, like really break down and I didn't want that for Lilli. She got to experience me doing that so often through the holidays last year and for a long time after. We chose to go to the cemetery to visit Everett the day after Christmas. My in-laws had gone on Christmas Eve and left a beautiful little tree and ornament for him. A tradition we started on Everett's birthday is to send balloons to him in Heaven. Lilli wanted to make sure he had fresh balloons to play with. So we went to the party store on the 26th and Lilli picked out 5 balloons. Three for us to send to Everett, one for her to keep, and one to bring to my grandmother.
When we got to the cemetery it was sunny and bright out. We let the balloons go one at a time and like to imagine that where ever the wind takes them is where Everett is in Heaven. We did our traditional blowing kisses to Everett and Lilli always sends him up big hugs. She also had Dave hoist her up to touch his name on the wall he's placed in. I'm not sure how much longer he'll be able to do that, she's getting pretty heavy.
I want a way we can make his resting place a little more personal. With him being placed where he is, there's not a lot we can do with it to make it personal for him. We looked around at some of the other names and wall spaces and have noticed that some people have pictures of them on the wall. We decided to do that for Everett. We will use one of the black and white close ups of his beautiful, perfect face to have mounted to the wall near his name. They make them out of ceramic, I believe. That makes me feel a little better to have a personal touch there for him.
As we cross into 2012 at midnight tomorrow, I can't help but feel excited about it being the year we get to meet our baby girl. It will be the second year for Run 4 Everett, and it will continue to be a year of change for us. Change for the better, I hope. We will always have an empty spot in our hearts for Everett, but know that our baby girl will fill our lives with so much joy, just like her big sister and big brother do. We can't wait to meet you in March, sweet baby girl!