When tragedy strikes it can appear as if all color is removed from the world. It happened to me right after Eva’s Miller Dieker diagnosis on August 16, 2017–that day looms larger in my head than her death date. It must have been a couple days after I had holed myself in our home. Joe was driving us downtown, I have no idea where we were going. But I distinctly remember looking around and thinking to myself, this is what people talk about. That beautiful hot summer day did not exist in my mind. Everything looked dingy and grey, even with a vibrant blue sky looming high above. What I saw on the outside was a full-on representation of how I felt on the inside. I spent months seeing things in this way. My normally upbeat, look at the bright-side self just could not appreciate the beauty that surrounded me in those dark, dark days. I was born in July, summer is my season, but not last summer. I wanted that gorgeous clear sky to fill with rain clouds and flood me with a storm, like the one brewing inside my heart.
My wish came true, and by the time she was gone all the leaves had fallen from the trees, and the Pacific Northwest clouds had set in again. Perfect.
Now, six months after she was born, I reflect on that time and how it felt as though the color would never return. How could it when she isn’t here to witness it? How can I enjoy the beauty without Eva? I pictured throwing my life-limited child in her baby carrier and taking her for walks to soak in the gorgeous place she was born into. Instead, she never left the hospital.
I look at the springtime colors bursting around me, while my shoulders are warmed by the ever-returning sun and that bright blue sky. Is it possible for color to be more vibrant when it returns? I think so. Everything looks so much more amazing since Eva was here. Or maybe I’m taking it all in for two of us now. Eva taught me so much, and this might be my favorite lesson—but, I say that about all of them.