E is four weeks old tomorrow. She is thriving. I feel so very lucky to have her. It's a real pleasure to have an infant as an (older) mature mom. With the girls being so grown up, it's sort of like having our first again, but this time we already know what we are doing. To boot, E is a pretty relaxed baby, at least so far.
The third anniversary of Henry's death was two weeks ago. It snuck up on me, as consumed as we were with the newness of E. It was, true to form, a very difficult day for me. The first time that I cried about Henry since E was born. After the actual day was over, things have been easier again in general. I did have one difficult episode, where I found myself repeating a soothing mantra to E that I very specifically recall repeating to Henry on his literal deathbed. Those little mines pop up from time to time, so far not overwhelming, but something that I feel I need to experience, acknowledge, and move past.
Today I took E for her first walk through the neighborhood. That walk has been a bit of a looming monster for me....it brings back very clearly the first walk I took with Henry, almost eight years ago now. Eight years. How is that possible? It was a beautiful day, and the walk was nice, and I'm glad it's over. As I've said many times, the firsts are always hard. As I was walking I was thinking of all of the firsts that are to come...playgrounds, pony rides, fairs, etc. There are so many things we haven't revisited since Henry's baby and toddler years. Now when we go to a park we go to play sports, or attend an event, not to hit the playground. So there will be many firsts to come.
What I have learned is that E's arrival and the joy around it does not diminish the pain, sorrow, and grief of Henry's death, but neither does Henry's death tarnish the love and appreciation I have for E. I am glad for this. I wouldn't want it any other way.