I have been having a tough week. Just a lot of personal drama going on, and then to top it off, this is Vivian and Annemarie's birthday week.
Today is the day four years ago when I found out that Vivian and Annemarie had passed away in utero. I went into labor and after 18 hours of painful labor, they were born tomorrow (July 12th).
I always think "this day four years ago, I was doing THIS." Or that. Or at this time four years ago, I was supremely happy.
And, I still AM happy. I am happy, goshdarnit. But sometimes, I am so sad, too.
Today was one of those days. Nothing went as planned. Then, at 6pm, I got a text that Mr. M would be working very late. On this show, he usually gets home around 8:30 (which is early-ish for him), so when he said very late...well, I knew that meant midnight-ish (or later).
Our nextdoor neighbors are doing horribly noisy construction (I swear I live on the noisiest street EVER)...and so I have to keep my windows closed all day because of the noise. It is so loud, it makes my house shake. But, then we don't have air conditioning, so if I close the windows, we roast inside the house. They were still working past 6pm, and I was about to have a meltdown!
So, I made a quick decision to scrap making dinner, throw the kids in the van, go to McDonald's and then to the playground.
The girls were so very good tonight. I mean, if I didn't know better, they were reading from a script on how to be adorable, good sisters. They were hugging eachother, telling me how much they love being sisters and best friends. It was over the top.
I see these girls, and well...it makes me realize all that I do have.
I have A LOT.
Whenever I am feeling so sad about Vivian and Annemarie, and wanting to join them in Heaven (yes, I have those days)...I look at these girls and know that THIS life that I have right now would never be if Vivian and Annemarie were still alive.
It is the biggest conundrum I can fathom.
I would not live in the house I live in, and probably wouldn't live by the beach. We would have moved a year earlier and so this house would not have been available. We only started to visit this beach community because of the fires in Pasadena the year Ginger was born (to escape the smoke).
We probably would have moved to San Marino for the schools (because it's close to Pasadena...unlike where we live now), and so everyone I have met here, I would not know. Everyone my girls will grow up with would be different. Different best friends. Probably different colleges, and different future spouses. The entire course of their lives would be entirely different.
It kind of blows my mind...that alternate reality where I am raising four year old identical twin girls and everything is different.
I often feel like one life ended four years ago today, and a new life began. Life 1.0 ended and then now I have Life 2.0.
It's hard to explain it exactly, but everything changed four years ago today. The person I am today is very different than the person I was four years ago. In some ways, it's good. I have learned so much, and become so much stronger through this process.
But, on the other hand, Life 1.0 was pretty great, too. It was easier and answers were always simpler. Sometimes I'd like to go back and visit, but that life doesn't exist anymore.
All five of my girls have been amazing gifts, and the fact that two of my girls aren't here for me to raise...it doesn't change their importance to me or my love for them.
Even if no one else thinks about them anymore (and that is tough for me to swallow), they still are important and they still have value in our family. Even when you can't see them, they are always there.
So, I am just bracing myself for getting through tomorrow...their birthday. I actually dread the day and will try to keep myself distracted. Vivian and Annemarie share the same birthday as my cousin Steven (who passed away in 2010 at the age of 21), and also Kambry (my friend's daughter who died a few hours after birth in 2006).
What is it about July 12th?
So, four special angels will be on my mind tomorrow. I wish they were all here still, and wish that things were different. The number one thing I have learned is that we have very little control over the big things in life, so I am just going to enjoy the day as best I can and put on a happy face.
I know there is much to smile about. And life...it does go on.