The stress and busyness that comes with the holidays has left my mind fairly distracted this month. It has been a delicate balance of keeping my mind distracted yet still honoring the memory of my daughter in small ways. The balance was nudged ever so slightly yesterday afternoon, and that caused the whole scale to be knocked over.
The afternoon started with a doctor’s appointment. More blood work. More questions. After arriving home, my mind consumed with the endless list of items to accomplish before our next two weeks of craziness begin, I checked the mail. The mailbox was filled with Christmas cards and a letter from the second hospital that Isabelle was at this past July. My heart began to race as I opened it and was flooded with horrible memories of my daughter fighting for her life. It was another bill. Since all of her expenses should have been covered by our wonderful insurance, I was incredibly frustrated at receiving it, and that it caused me to again relive that day.
To make a long story short, the bill had been submitted to our insurance, months ago, as “Baby Girl” and not “Isabelle.” As a result, the insurance hung on to it for several months and then stated that they would not cover it because “Baby Girl” wasn’t in their system. Straightening out the name issue required me to spell Isabelle’s name to the woman I was speaking with on the phone. Each letter was like a dagger in my heart. After receiving instructions to have my husband take care of some paperwork on base, I hung up the phone.
As I stood in the doorway to our bedroom, the phone at my side, I was suddenly very aware of the silence in our house. In the back of my mind, I heard the cry of a baby girl echoing through the still walls. My mind took me to the Christmas that never was – the Christmas that I wanted so badly that my heart physically hurt. This is not how it was supposed to be this year.
Try as I might to distract my mind this holiday season, the triggers are everywhere. There is a small part of me that is thankful for the pain caused by the triggers such as that bill. It is a reminder that Isabelle was in our lives. It is a reminder that the doctors worked hard to give us one day with her. It is a reminder that she was so incredibly and absolutely loved by many during her short time here on earth.