This past week, I've actually been able to see a few friends. It feels like progress, feels like I can come out of hibernation a bit, just for short windows. It feels good to be with people I love who love me and who love Lydia. Who would do anything to change our situation. I want to talk about her with them. I want to show them pictures, I want them to ask questions, I want to cry together. I could spend all day talking about my daughter.
But it's hard too. It's hard to ask my friends how their lives are going, and hear how normal they are. How their kids are getting bigger and growing up. I wonder if we'll ever feel normal again. I think about how my son will have to grow up without his sister.
And it's exhausting too.
The other night, I went to a little holiday lighting with my family. And these lights were flashing, and people were everywhere, all holding onto their babies and their toddlers, and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I thought I might have a panic attack. I had to leave, and I had to leave quickly. All these people, holding onto their kids - having no idea how lucky they are - getting excited about Christmas.
What I wouldn't give to be one of them.