A bouncy seat for $5.
Polka-dotted sleepers for a buck.
A bathtub. Stroller. Onesies. Blankies. Burp cloths. Anything an expectant mother might want. Right there for the taking. And I walked away empty-handed.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all about bargains. And there were plenty of bargains to be had this past weekend during our community's annual garage sales. Forty-two sales in all and I made it to at least half of them.
Last year we were the ones pricing items into the wee hours of the morning.
Goodbye, bouncy seat. See ya later, stroller.
Each item, lovingly selected by my own two hands, had served us well as we brought three beautiful children into the world. They saw us through colic and acid reflux and gave me an opportunity to take a shower - albeit a quick one - at 3 in the afternoon (it's amazing how baby is completely content as long as the bouncy seat is in the bathroom with you). But, it was time for them to go. We were done with babies.
We weren't planning on any more.
Just like we weren't planning on cancer.
Yet here we are.
With the best and worst life can throw at a person.
A positive pregnancy test and preparations for big changes in our family.
A fever and a trip to the ER.
One day. Two events. Two lives. Two daughters.
I'm not sure we'll ever know the answer to that question, but it's one I ask and struggle with every day.
Which is why I couldn't bring myself to buy the polka-dotted jammies (even though I picked them up not once, not twice, but three times).
And why our reactions to "congratulations" aren't typical of expectant parents. We smile, say thank you, and switch the conversation to something else.
And why we haven't even thought about a name.
We're just not there yet.
We're still stuck missing a perfectly wonderful little girl gone too soon.