There's supposed to be snow... Maybe there already is; I havent looked outside. But it snowed the day Sophia was born, so it seems fitting that, even now, even five years later, there is a blanket on the ground.
My fridge has homemade pierogi and kielbasa from the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, which I'll make for dinner tonight (along with some brocolli and garlic english muffins... and cake, of course). I like to think of the Shrine as Sophie's place. Even though she never went in her short life, I think that, had she lived, she would have enjoyed it, and not just for the Shrine... The food, oh the food. Kielbasa, pierogi, halumki... That would have been our girl's thing. Whenever we go and, especially when we eat at the cafeteria after Mass, I always think of her in a special way.
Her Mass is at 8am today. I'm sad because I won't be there, and yet, I feel like that's okay. Peter is planning to take the kids; his mom will be there too. We talked about it, but decided that an alternate plan was the right one. The race? The 5 miler that Sarah ran the day that Sophia was born? She and I planned to volunteer as course marshalls (since she is injured and cant run it, and I'm not supposed to top 3-4 miles anymore). But, time wise, we have to be there from 7am-11am, which means I cant make an 8am Mass and do the marshalling. When Peter and I spoke, he smiled and said, "Look at it this way; I think she'd like to know that you were there, cheering people on and saying "You can do it" on her birthday." And, with that, the decision was made. I dont love that I'm missing her Mass and I wont sign up to do something like this in the future because their Masses are important to me (it's like missing their birthday party, if that make sense), but this year... This year, it feels right.
Last night, after dinner, I baked her birthday cake; I'll make buttercream later today. It's red velvet cake, in the shape of a heart. She has that... she always has... My special girl, my oldest daughter. My wisdome of the world. Maya has told me that she thinks the cake is "perfect" and that she wants to help me frost it. I can't wait. :)
My dearest Sophia,
Five years ago, you came into the world, my first and oldest daughter. Perhaps because of the rough last 2 weeks of your pregnancy or just because, your labor was the most difficult of all my labors; I like to think it was your Irish temper coming out and that you wanted to give me a bit of grief :). You were a back labor and I thought my spine was going to split into. For months afterwards, I wish it had; instead it was my heart that broke into a million pieces, with only your fingers and those of your twin brother holding me together. You were born 'sunny side up' with your face facing the heavens, fitting since you were such a ray of sunlight in our lives. That hasn't changed... It never will.
I can close my eyes and remember the four hours that passed between my water breaking and your birth, just like they were yesterday. The fear, the pain, the knowing. I can see the kind doctor's eyes. I can see your dad, baptizing you in a tiny sink. I remember your little fingers, resting against your heart and the smile on your face. Was it because the first face you saw and the first hands you felt on the outside were your dad's? That would have made me smile, too.
I look at your photographs and I can see the beautiful baby you were and the beautiful woman you would have become. None more beautiful that than the spirit you have now, I know, but I can still see. I'll always be able to see that, I think.
This song has always reminded me of your little brother, Alexander (you were more of a hard rock girl, my little Evanescence fan), but your dad shared with me a remake that the band did with an alternative lead singer and, for whatever reason, this version resonated with me for you... That perhaps, this year at least, Return to Me is your song.
You rise like a wave in the ocean and you fall gently back to the sea. Now I want to know how to hold you- return to me... You shine like the moon over water and you darken the sky when you leave. Now I want to know how to keep you. Return to me... Everything I tell you has been spoken, and everything I say was said before, but everything I feel is for the first time, and everything I feel, I feel for you. I am here calling the wind. I am here calling your name. I am here calling you back-return to me... I know what it means to be lonely and I know what it means to be free. Now I want to know how to love you- return to me... I am here calling the wind. I am here calling your name. I am here calling you back-return to me... I am here- return to me.
I'll always be here, waiting for your kiss in the rain and snow, for your hug in the breeze and wind, for your voice in the windchimes as they sway day after day. I'll never stop looking and dreaming and hoping, and I'll never stop knowing that one day, I will feel you in my arms again.
Happy fifth birthday, my sweet girl. May all the saints and angels in heaven rejoice because you are there with them.
We love you.