Last Night.

It’s our last night in our house. Tomorrow, bright and early, the movers come to collect the hoards of brown boxes scattered about the house, blocking entrance ways and hallways, boxes that house all the crap we don’t really need but own anyway.

I finally gave Amelie’s bed frame away today. The bed, paid for with donation $$, that provided her comfort during her last final months and me solitude and sleep the last two years. I was able to give it to another little girl with special needs—a little girl who is so beautiful, she looks like Amelie, shares her Italian/Greek heritage, and who’s mommy and daddy are who we consider family. Someone in the Brotherhood. That provides me so much joy, relief, gratitude, and is a reminder that we are all in this shit hell storm together. Another little girl will be sleeping soundly on this bed. Thank GOD for that.

I kept the mattress, b/c I know somewhere it has Amelie’s DNA in it and it’s crazy comfortable. I don’t know where it’s going yet, but it will find a home in our new home.

HOME. interesting concept to me right now, considering I keep saying ‘Amelie has gone home’ yet I simultaneously mourn the life I had in this home.

Amelie LOVED her room. I’ll NEVER EVER forget the first time she saw this room. Aunti Shelley had surprised her, had the room painted, unpacked, decorated so when we saw the house for the first time, it was all ready to be lived in. Amelie gasped and immediately laid upon her new bed, which was delicately encased in a white mesh Cinderella-like canopy, with a real chandelier light floating at the top. She just laid down in pure amazement and total satisfaction. It was such a moment, I caught it on film and it will LIVE with me forever. She LOVED her room. It was her sanctuary, her play area, her final resting place.

I slept in her bed in her lovely little room one last time Saturday night. Brave was at a sleepover so I was free to sob openly, loudly, painfully, without restraint (for fear of waking him) and the pain hurt so immensely I verbally begged Jesus to make it stop. I could feel pain radiating from my being, pouring from my eyes, seeping out my pores, shooting through my hair, energy exploding off my body in a way that felt it was practically visible. I turned over and felt the cold wall on my burning body, and I remembered: Once Amelie rolled over, she was moaning and sort of screaming and when I walked in there, I was mortified. She was stuck, smooshed against the wall unable to move her body away from it. Her body just couldn’t work anymore. The pain of that awful memory fucks me up every day, and is as vivid in my mind as this computer screen in front of me. I want it gone from my psyche but I can’t shake it. laying there against the wall made it even more fresh.

Ben gently woke me this morning and we both just sobbed together, thanking God for her life, for this house, for the end of hard times, asking for new chapters, new beginnings, a fresh start.

Ben said he’s so grateful that the move is happening now—-he doesn’t want Bravery at 10,11 years old, having to walk by his sister’s empty room every day. Instead, he can shed those horrible times and create a new home where he can grow up without that constant reminder staring at him in the face 100 times a day every time he walks down the hall. He praised me for taking care of her when she needed me most. He admitted his utter failure to be there for us during that time, and how he wants to move forward together in grace and joy, not pain in the past.

hmmm.

I tried to share his gratitude, I really did. But I’m not there. I’m mad at God right now and, even despite the abundant blessings He’s surrounded me with, I’ve got a massive chip on my shoulder and an ache in my gut [and my Gut health is a mess. I emotionally ate till I was sick friday, barely ate a thing Saturday, practically had no food all day yesterday until Vietnamese date night dinner, then ate an entire bean and cheese burrito with sour cream today for lunch outta nowhere, swore I’d never eat again, then was somehow starving two hours later. Grief screws up your appetite, that’s for sure].

So here I sit, staring at the bare walls of her once perfect little princess room, now just a shitty storage unit. Her things packed, her bed moved on, her mattress loaded in the truck, her clothes folded in bins. That’s it, that’s my daughter’s room. I now move into a home with no Amelie’s room.

Sure, I painted the third bedroom pink in the new house. I’m going to decorate it all girly in homage to my baby, but it’s not her room. and I have to accept that.

I’ll have a special spot for her, of course, but this is the first move of my life to a home where my daughter will have never lived nor breathed. I am the only female in the house now.

Goodbye lovely little house, you served us well. Goodbye military housing, you protected and provided for us. Goodbye military life, it was hell and an honor to serve. Goodbye lovely little room, she loved you.

Goodnight moon, Goodnight air, Goodnight noises…everywhere.

This face. PURE contentment, a blithe placidity. She laid there, starting at her Cinderella bed in a daydream, her chubby belly full from a big dinner, her curls damp and smelling of bubble bath. This photo was taken the first night in her room. The same bedding she slept on her first night, I slept on the last night. The same stickers on the wall have been there for 4.5 years, since the day we moved in. I peeled off those stickers and took them down today and, I fully admit, unceremoniously threw them in the trash. I simply couldn’t handle it.

This face. PURE contentment, a blithe placidity. She laid there, starting at her Cinderella bed in a daydream, her chubby belly full from a big dinner, her curls damp and smelling of bubble bath. This photo was taken the first night in her room. The same bedding she slept on her first night, I slept on the last night. The same stickers on the wall have been there for 4.5 years, since the day we moved in. I peeled off those stickers and took them down today and, I fully admit, unceremoniously threw them in the trash. I simply couldn’t handle it.