I find it very difficult to accept we're leaving you behind. Once again, I find myself clutching fast to the moments I cherish, realizing the rest of the world must march on. But you--you were far too important a year, and while I cannot freeze time, I refuse to forget.
In February 2012, I welcomed my sweet Carpenter into this world. It was tragically bittersweet, but that day will always rank in my top ten. I will never forget the day I held his little body, dressed him in white, and let my tears fall on his face.
In March 2012, we welcomed my niece. She scared the hell out of us (which showed us she'd take after her father) by coming eleven weeks early. We desperately needed to hear the cry of a living child. I will never forget the look on my sister-in-law's face when she saw the first picture of herself with her tiny baby.
In April 2012, a dear friend brought her sleeping daughter into the world. I did not know them at the time. I was not there to cry with her. But I will never forget her short life, her mother's pain, or her birthday.
In May 2012, I joined Lil Angels Hankies. Tricia's team has meant the world to me, giving me support, and better--the chance to support others. There are still days I can't get by without my fellow staff. I will never forget the day I told Tricia I was all-in.
In July 2012, Mike and I celebrated our two-year anniversary. We had been rocked to the core, experienced the worst pain a couple can bear, and we had come out of it fighting FOR each other rather than against. I will never forget the day it really hit us that we could and would survive anything together.
In August 2012, I decided to open up my heart and soul to the possibility of more love, and still more pain. We decided we were ready to try again to expand our family. I was scared to death, but I'll never forget the day I finally said "it's time."
In September 2012, we found out we were expecting our third child. In a sea of emotions, I came up numb, but underneath swelled excitement and pride. I will never forget the day I told Mike the test was positive.
In October 2012, I joined in the excitement as a dear friend brought her rainbow into the world. She had shared her joys and fears with me to prepare me for my months ahead. Seeing the healthy birth of her son has buoyed me in a way I can never explain. It is because of her strength I know I can keep going. I will never forget the day her sweet son arrived.
And finally, this month, I found out we're having another son. During the ultrasound, I was the first to spot the gender, and immediately wished I were wrong. I was scared of so many things, not wanting a replacement baby for my Carpenter. But I realized that Carpenter sent his brother to me. I will never forget the day I found out our chosen name, Matthew, means "Gift of God."
2012, it has been a roller coaster. You have given me destruction and growth, terror and joy, fear and hope. With the good and the bad, I still cling tightly to the memories of what has so far been the most important year of my life. I will never, ever forget. Thank you for all you have given me, and for all that was taken away. Because in the end, it was mine, even if just for 2012.
Here's to 2013. May it be just as memorable.