She would have been one.
Should have been.
My husband's first grandchild. His son's first daughter. More steps for me.
A perfectly beautiful baby girl named Parker, she was born one year ago today. But instead of a joyous celebration of life, this date is one we will never forget.
She was born sleeping.
I saw that in a post by another heart-broken mother somewhere. I liked the way it sounded, though it's no less sad. No less tragic.
She was otherwise perfect in every way.
And this should be her first birthday.
She should be blowing out her first candle, receiving her first birthday presents, mushing cake all over her adorable face.
Born in December, this should be her first magical Christmas. We should be picking out presents and little red velvet outfits with lacy pants and tons of toys. She should have sat on Santa's knee for a picture and screamed for her mommy.
So much we must imagine.
When I lost my beloved cousin this year, the officiant at her funeral talked about her dash, the mark between the date we arrive on this earth and the date we leave. Some people, like my cousin, fill that dash with a full, rich life. Others do not.
Parker didn't even get a dash. She only got one date. This one, for all of us to remember.
So we gathered today as a family. A Louisiana family, of course. There were boiled crabs and beer. And laughter and love, a cute smooshy baby boy and beautiful little girls.
And chips and dips and candy and cookies.
But no cake.