As an expectant mom, most women will sign up for free coupons and samples from any and every reputable website. I was no different with either child. I logged into BabyCenter to read Eleanor's weekly progress and loved telling my husband what size she was (poppy seed, blueberry, orange, banana, etc). I signed up on websites for diapers, clothing, toys...you name it. So, when Eleanor died, my first thought was not to unsubscribe to these emails. (And we all know how ridiculously difficult it is to actually unsubscribe!) I didn't even check my email for months.
The other day I got an email with the subject line, "Your Eleven Month Old." Remember that she was due March 16, 2010, but born early on Janaury 8, 2010. I've been receiving them monthly but either immediately deleted or ignored them. But for some reason I paused this time. I couldn't bring myself to open the email and scroll to the bottom. I would surely see all the wonderful milestones she would be meeting, and reading about teething, walking, eating, etc. as I looked for that obscure 'unsubscribe' button hidden in a massive paragraph someplace. What did I do? I didn't open the email to read it. I hit delete. In two weeks I will undoubtedly receive another email, subject line, "Your One Year Old!"
I don't know why I can't just open the email, quickly scroll down, and be done with it all. It's not like I don't know that I should have an eleven month old daughter at home, playing with her brother. It's not like each anniversary doesn't affect me: the 8th (birth), 14th (death), 16th (March original due date), and 23rd (memorial service) of every month. And it's certainly not like a day goes by where I don't think of her and what could...and should...have been. I don't need a reminder at all.
But I don't think I will delete my monthly emails. As the world continues on and the pain lessens, I think it will be nice to follow her as she grows in cyberspace. Maybe one day I will look forward to seeing, "Your Ten Year Old" as I smile and cry, thinking about who she may have been. I still won't read the email, but I will take that moment in my busy day to stop and bask in the loving memory of my daughter.