Today is the day...just one of the days I have dreaded since the day you died 2 years 9 months and 17 days ago. Tomorrow is another day I will dread and next Monday is one that I just cannot even begin to truly process. Today, your baby brother turns the age you were on the day you died. He called you "Dondee" because he couldn't even say his "s" when you were alive. It took him the last 2 years to start to understand that death meant you wouldn't be coming home, but he still doesn't really grasp where exactly you are. (I don't think any of us really do to be honest-the concept is just too abstract).
I spent so many days crying in anticipation of today and the week to come that today, despite my heart beating a little faster, and feeling that extra drag in my step, there are no tears...yet. Maybe it is because I am pretty preoccupied in NY with your baby cousin Isla. In a few hours we fly back to Phoenix.
Today, as Noam turns your same age, he will be starting his debut hockey career. You were in the middle of life and death during the same age equivalent time. It is a celebration of sorts that he is reaching today, as is every day we all continue to live and breathe, but birthday and age celebrations aren't what they once were to me. There is a shadow that is always cast. There is a piece of my heart that can't join in with the rest. Most people cannot understand. Most people focus on how I am supposed to be dealing with it because it wouldn't be fair to Noam if I didn't. People don't understand the challenge of celebrating a younger child out aging their older one, and lucky for them they don't have to, so it is easy for them to say what I should be able to do.
After today he isn't technically younger than you. He will (thankfully, and I hope) have age experiences you weren't afforded. I am grateful for that. I know what it is like to be stuck in the alternate universe of not aging, so I will celebrate the essential victory of what is tomorrow, but it doesn't come without the knowledge of you now becoming our youngest. Forever our 4th child who will become younger than our 5th. Forever 4. Forever 4 years 11 months and 23 days. Forever and never to be the big sister you should have been. While I won't let that take away from Noam's ability to continue (and I pray he does) to outage you every day for the rest of his life, I will also not ever forget that that fact is one and the same, and neither should others.
Until next time baby girl! I love and miss you!! Hope to see you in the sky!