The days following Reita Gale's funeral were dreadful. I missed my baby girl so much. I had to try to carry on some kind of normal life for my rainbow sons. They loved all of the flowers that came to us from our friends. Invitations came for them to go play with their friends so I could have some time for my own to reflect. To keep my sanity, I carried on with household duties and thank you notes to be written. At least own home wasn't filled with silence as it was after James Collins, Jr died. I can tell you that from my prespective, having rainbows kept me sane. It was very different from when it was my firstborn to die. My household was alive with the sound of children, slamming doors, and running little feet around the house. It helped so much from keeping me from digging the deepest hole and climbing in it.
The first night after the funeral, I got out of bed and went downstairs with a blanket and pillow. I went into the dining room and closed off the doors. I got down on my knees and crawled under the dining room table, dragging my pillow and blanket with me. I curled up on the hardwood floor and cried until I fell asleep. I needed to be completely alone with my thoughts of the "what ifs" and the "never will be's". My beautiful little baby girl gone. Gone with her were the ponytails and ribbons in her hair, her first doll baby from Santa, painting her toe nails pink, pretty girl dresses, mother and daughter talks. My life with her was shattered.
The next December, which would have been her "First Christmas" James and I went Santa shopping for our sons in Richmond, VA. The first aisle we came to were the dolls. We looked at each other and broke down all to pieces crying as people walked by us. We just cried until we could get ourselves composed. We went on with our shopping, but never of us has ever forgotten that Christmas shopping day in 1982.
As the years passed us by, we saw girls that would be her age. We couldn't help but wonder what she would be like. We often took our sons with us to visit the grave sites of their brother and sister. They never really understood what it meant to us. Only James and I talked of her. Her name was never mentioned to us by anyone else. It was as though she never existed. The same was for her brother. We always remembered them in our church at Easter with an Easter Lily and at Christmas with a Poinsettia. We remembered both of our children to each other often.
My sweet precious baby daughter. You would be 30 years old today, almost 31. I have missed your proms, graduations, first boyfriends, your wedding, and possible grandchildren. I didn't get the chance to teach you to cook, go on shopping sprees, or learn make-up tricks. What I didn't miss, my sweet child, were your kicks in my womb, listening to your heartbeat, and planning your funeral. The rest we will just have to catch up on in Heaven.
Until then, just keep sending me butterfly kisses. I will blow sweet kisses your way.