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35 Years

Today is my 35th birthday. I’m so proud of myself, where I’m at today, how far I’ve come. The things I have, the ways I’ve grown, the places I’ve been, the people I get to love.

But sometimes my heart aches when I think of myself before. Before the pain, before the trauma, before I knew what it felt like to hold my dead child in my arms, before I would stare at his ashes in a tiny box on my dresser, before I knew the ways in which the world judges those who grieve an unfathomable loss.

I ache for that little girl, that teenager, that young woman that I was, full of so many plans, ready to take on the world. Oblivious to the fire that would destroy her, and the ashes from which she’d have to rebuild, scarred forever by tragedy.

I had no idea.

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