It’s official today – Samantha has been gone for as long as we had her with us. Four months ago we said goodbye. Four months before that we met her for the first time. Both sections of time feel like an eternity. I can’t believe how many times this year I’ve said, “that was a lifetime ago,” only to catch myself and realize that it was a lifetime ago – Samantha’s lifetime.

Yesterday I found myself cleaning out some old emails and happened upon a prayer request from a friend for someone they know. The prayer was for a couple expecting a little girl who unfortunately had a fatal developmental problem in utero. She was born alive but died two hours later. I read through some of that couple’s blog and found myself tearing up at the similar emotions. I guess it doesn’t matter if you hold your baby for two hours or four months, just seeing her eyes, hearing her voice, holding her – it’s a gift I will always be grateful for.

I know that there’s a part of me that thinks we should squeeze in a trip to the cemetery today, but I’m also content to perhaps just go home and pull out some of her things. I feel more connected to Samantha at home than I do at the graveside. I think a lot of that has to do with Jonah. We connected more to him through his grave than anything else, since the memories we had of him were so limited. Samantha was living and breathing and spent time in our home, more of her life there than any other place. I’m thankful that we don’t have any plans to move from our home any time soon, because I can’t imagine leaving the house where we held her. Someday it may be inevitable, but I pray that day is far removed into the distance and we can just continue to enjoy this house that is truly our HOME, more so than any other has been. Yet even with that, I carry this longing that reminds me that nowhere on this earth can ever be my home.

Time keeps passing. In another four months we will “celebrate” her birthday. I want to do something special to recognize that day, though how to do it still escapes me. Meanwhile I keep moving forward daily.