We named our daughter after Jon (Jonathan Alexander). Jocelyn Alexandra means “Joyful” and “defender”. I never could have realized how soon she would fulfill the meaning of her name. She has been the bright spot in a dark time. She has brought smiles to everyone who comes into her presence. Defending us from overwhelming grief with her joy.

At first, I thought that because she is so young she wouldn’t realize what had happened. I thought maybe she was extra affectionate because she could tell I was upset. But today as I was holding her I stopped and looked at two framed wedding photos. Jocelyn ever so gently pointed at Jon in each one. She didn’t make any sounds, but she stared at the photos intently. She knows he is missing. She just doesn’t understand why. (If I’m honest on some level I am in the same state.)

In the same way that Jocelyn has made this process easier, she has also made it much harder. I don’t feel like I have room to grieve freely. I want her to feel safe and that everything is ok. I want her to be happy, so I try and keep from looking sad. She deserves to think that the world is a happy and good place, at least while she is little. She is also cutting 3 teeth at the same time, so she’s been extra clingy. What little energy I do have goes to her. Even after she has gone to bed and the house is quiet, I’m just too tired to cry. So I just stare into space, retreating inside myself. But inside myself, there is no rest, only questions. What I am supposed to do? If it was just me I could go anywhere or do anything. I could go off the deep end and it wouldn’t matter. But I do have her, so it’s up to me to figure out how to give her the best life possible.

I love my baby girl, and I am desperately glad that we chose to have her even though trying for a baby didn’t make logical sense. When I miss him I can hug her. She is a part of him and always will be. I just hope I have the strength to be who she needs me to be and at the same time be who I need me to be.