Today is our saddest day.

It’s Nina’s birthday. Today she would have been two.

But, strangely, I feel alright. The sun is bright and it feels warm on my face and I spent the morning with Harlan and Aidan. We had breakfast, then drove down to the Charles, where we let balloons go, one pink, one blue, one purple, and watched them float away in a perfect triangle.

“They’re going back to Nina!” Aidan said.

I got all my crying out yesterday, maybe in anticipation of today, maybe because Harlan and I wrote letters to her last night and read them to each other, maybe because yesterday was our worst day, the day I play over and over in my mind, hoping to somehow find a different version, one that I can live with.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the day we found out she was gone. It was that surreal day when I still didn’t believe it, when I was numb, when I consoled my friends and family more than they consoled me, because they needed it more than I did. I was still in disbelief, in denial, whatever you call it.

Hours after they told me, I had a second, “official” ultrasound. It was just for verification and they told me the result would be the same, but I still asked the ultrasound technician, all hopeful, “Is there a heartbeat?”

She and the midwife turned to look at me as if I was an idiot. “No, no heartbeat,” they said.

Yesterday was the worst day, but today was the saddest. Today we held her in our arms, knowing we would never hear her laugh or cry. Today was the day our hearts broke. And mine, at least, still hasn’t healed.

We showed Aidan some pictures of Nina today. He was surprised she was only a baby. Earlier he’d said, “She died because she was old. She was 99.” I told him she was a baby. I said that’s why it was so sad, because she died when she was only a baby, and offered to show him her picture.

After looking at the photos for a minute, he said, “Poor Nina. I wish we could see her again. But we can always see her on Skype. We can always see her in our dreams.”

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