I have a wall in the basement that has close ups of all of the kids. Steve gave me three of them for Mother's Day back when the three boys were quite little. With each addition to our family, I buy another frame (I'm still amazed that Hobby Lobby still carries the same one after all these years) and add a close-up of the new baby to the others.
After we lost Charlotte, I wanted to add her picture along with the rest and I finally got around to asking my friend, Jacque, to order me one. Charlotte's picture came in last week. I had mixed emotions. I was excited to add it to the rest since she is a part of our family, but it also hurt to see her.
As I got around to hanging the picture, I cleaned the frame and placed her photo inside. I took it to the basement and arranged all the photos to fit Charlotte's on an empty nail. After I placed it on the wall, I stood back to look at them. It broke me. It hit me as I looked at all the pictures of the other seven smiling kids, that I would never see Charlotte smile. Her eyes were shut tight, while the other children's eyes sparkled with joy. As I looked at their eyes, I realized I never even saw Charlotte's eyes and that I never would. I broke down crying.
This whole mourning thing comes and goes. It is the strangest thing. I am realizing more and more that I will have a lifetime of mourning the loss of what could have been and what we are missing by not having with Charlotte here with us. I suppose that is why some call mourning a dance.