When the stars and stripes and fireworks appear, my gut is heavy, my breath sharp, because that day is coming again.
The day I chose a soft, neon pink onesie with a frilly little bow… not knowing that would be the last time I would dress you.
The day after I had filled a deep bath and soaked with your warm body against my chest… not knowing that would be our first and last.
The day I called and your daddy said “What???” and I said, “Just get here.”
The day the only thing I ate was a 3 Musketeers Bar, and how I can’t eat them anymore because I get that same nervous, gut punched feeling I had that day.
The day I screamed at God to please not take you from me.
The day I watched in disbelief at hands that didn’t seem to be mine holding you close as your soul slipped from your body.
The day I kissed each tiny toe and wondered if I had ever taken the time to do that while you were alive.
The day I set you down to be covered by that ugly orange knitted blanket before they rolled you away forever.
The day I walked out into the sun holding your daddy’s hand and an empty car seat.
The day I watched your siblings dissolve into hysterical tears when I told them you wouldn’t be coming home.
The day I watched a deep dark hole swallow up every delicate detail of you.
The July my heart broke forever.