I have already been weepy for the past 6 weeks over this birthday. I’ve tried to prepare myself for years, but it still sneaks up on me.

Sixteen years ago, as a naïve first-time mother, I made the horrbile mistake of not retaining the pre-natal services of a licensed obstetrician. The ensuing nightmare from that decision has haunted me ever since. Jordan and I will pay for that miscalculation every day until either one of us draws our last earthly breath. I have paid the ultimate price with her life; I pay a price in my relationship with Blake; I pay a price with a physical body broken by stress and pain. There is no peace, and I don’t know that I’d deserve it anyway if there were. I alone must atone.

It still pains me that Jord will never drive, date or go to a dance. Those are major milestones for a reason. She’ll never even know what they mean.

Her brothers are growing up without her…

We miss the happy Jord we knew before her needs outstripped her communication abilities.

The care center is not our favorite option but it is the best one for now. At least she is generally loved even though she can be difficult.

I still ache every time we drop her off after a home visit. Tears are never very far from the surface…

My girl is maturing too much to be without a mom’s guidance. She doesn’t need her gorgeous womanly figure. I wish we could have frozen her at the age of 5.

I still wish I had the girl I dreamed about 16 years ago. I live with what is but I want so badly for things to be different. I wonder how we’d be celebrating this birthday if they were…?

I was at a local medical plaza a few mornings ago for a doctor visit. In the lobby I saw a couple with a newborn daughter hooked up to tubes powered by the pack on the mother’s back. I wondered if this young, shell-shocked couple had the first inkling of how completely their lives will be changed. I sent silent karma their way as I recomposed myself for my appt.

I love you, Jord. Happy 16th