And yet the second child in our family, beautiful little Molly, is here with us. A little earlier than we would have planned if Cara were still alive, but she is here nonetheless - along with all her beautiful cries, wimpers, wiggles, and of course those chubby little cheeks.
Molly is here which is a miracle. A true gift from God. A gift that I know Cara along with all the saints on heaven and on earth interceded for. A gift that Cara and all the saints will continue to watch over. She is an awesome gift to our family. When I let that sink in, I'm short on words.
I wish so badly that Cara was here. Right now, most of us think that Molly resembles more of her mother. And who knows, we could be totally wrong, but right now it seems like she definitely has more of her mom in her, while Cara was very, very similar to me with her hair, nose, cheekbones and eyes. It will be neat to see Molly grow into her own beautiful person, but I do grieve that we won't be able to see Cara grow into who she would have become as well. Even just as simple in that we will never be able to walk down the street and have people say that "oh, Cara looks just like you, Tim and Molly is a spitting image of her mother." We do have this through pictures and in the sense that Cara is still alive in spirit - but right now I'm grieving that we won't have this here on earth.
This first week with Molly has been full of new memories. For the first time since our pregnancy with Cara, I feel like there is a tangible sign of hope and joy right in the middle of our lives. This is why Molly is such a gift. Because through each of her cries and wimpers and short little breaths she is a sign of life...a reminder that sometimes life does win on this earth. A reminder of something good - a simple, pure little baby girl...just like her big sister.
As soon as Molly was in our arms we started telling her all about her older sister, which in a sense is sorta funny, because I feel like Molly already knew she had an angel surrounding her. But we held Molly in our arms and told her how much Cara loves her, how much we miss Cara, and how much we wish Cara could be there physically as her bigger sister now. And this is just the beginning, we will continually tell Molly all about her older sister because Cara will be a part of our everyday lives forever.
But it's not all joy and it's not all easy. I've been struggling this week with fears that Molly might unexpectedly die. I'm very scared about SIDS, but after talking with our pediatrician about it I feel that if we follow all the recommendation from First Candle, the chances of SIDS striking Molly are very low.
But Cynthia and I still find ourselves checking Molly's crib to make sure she's ok. And we'll certainly continue to be over-protective parents for the rest of Molly's life. We just want to do everything we can to make sure she lives a healthy, long life.
So I'm trying to let go. I tell myself, and Cynthia says to me that "babies are meant to live." Molly is meant to live and breathe and be a normal little baby. Thinking about this seems to help a little bit.
I'm also trying to use music to work through these anxious feelings and embrace this new chapter. I decided the other day that I wanted to share my "Daddy Mix" with Molly. This is the mix that Cynthia made me shortly after we found out that Cara was a girl. So on Tuesday afternoon, I propped the laptop up next to Molly with Cynthia in the room and we listened to my favorite Daddy song, Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter." I heard this song around when Cynthia and I first got married and I remember way back then thinking how fun it would be to have a daughter one day and share this song with her. And it seemed just like a dream back then, but boy did my dream eventually come true. I hadn't listened to this song since we lost Cara. But on Tuesday, it felt like a good time to share this song with my second daughter. I feel like it sums up everything about how I love my girls.
I love you Cara and Molly. There will never be a father that loves his daughters as much as I love you.