navigating the seasons: what was and will never be again

October 2, 2015, Michaela Evanow, 5 Comments

Yesterday was the epitome of a perfect fall day. And, it was one of those days with too many gaps. Too many gaps to pause and think. Too many brokenhearted selahs.

The last three years of my life have been spent in another world that is so familiar to some, but so foreign to others. You don’t understand it unless you’ve been in it.

I’m startled to realize that I miss that world. I miss her nurses, doctors and therapists. I miss that community. Because even though we were often in isolation, there were familiar faces and routines and everyone had a role and a place in our life. Now, I have to relearn the art of mothering, without the help of so many others. It’s funny because I kind of resented all that help.

I miss the fight. The fight against SMA. I miss saying: SMA didn’t win this time! My girl is a fighter! We are going home!

Sometimes, when my guard is down, I feel like a failure. I read the posts from so many amazing families out there, and I feel lonely.

My child is no longer fighting. She fought so hard. Too hard. We lost.

What do I say now?

I turn 30 in eight days. And I have two children. One of them died.

She died from a disease that parents try to fight in so many different ways. But our little girl was tired. Her eyes told us in the gentlest way, that she was content to be tired.

And, shortly after these heartbreaking revelations, her disease reared it’s ugly head once again, and, the reality is, it consumed her.
These quiet moments give me time to think. And they terrify me. They remind me of what is missing.

We moved in January, to a quiet suburb. It was a good decision for the season we were in, but…now I yearn for our old life and home.

I miss walking out our front door onto the street. I miss people watching from the window. I never felt lonely there, even when we spent so much time indoors. I miss the way it felt to have infant Teddy strapped to my chest, with Florence in front of us as I huffed and puffed up the hill by our house. I miss the neighbourhoods and parks and shops that I know so well. I miss looking out the steamy kitchen window as I attempted to make dinner. I miss hearing and watching people outside our door. I miss watching the seasons come and go from the living room, with Florence tucked safely inside. I miss the way the heater filled our home with white noise. And clunking.

Our old home is where Florence spent most of her life. It’s where Theodore was born. I still can’t drive by it. We are waiting for permits to tear it down. One day, we will return to that plot of land to rebuild.

We own that land and all those memories. They linger, in between the flaming maple trees, the clouds of cherry blossoms, and the crooked pavement. I’m not ready to be there without her.

Autumn makes me slow down. I pull out the crockpot. I have more than one cup of coffee. I sit and watch the blue sky and orange trees. And as much as it hurts, I have to pause and reflect on what was and will never be on this earth again.

My Florence, in the fall. Two of the most beautiful seasons ever created.
_DSC4310 _DSC4312 _DSC4324How many more autumns, winters, springs and summers must pass before your season starts again, my love?
Oh, how I wish the season of Florence lasted forever on this earth.

This is our first time experiencing a true change in the seasons, since she passed away. She died on the cusp of summer. With this dramatic change in weather, I feel her loss deep within me. The seasons change. Fall will come and fall will go. Summer will return. Life rolls forward, and I roll with it. But her season has ended. Can you believe it? I ask myself this on a daily basis.

It’s true. We will never see Florence again. Yes, in heaven. Yes, we have that hope. But we will never see our daughter again. She is gone.

This rattles me, because I’m only now learning to say it out loud. Our shock and numbness has rubbed off. I blurt out the truth when I meet new people. Hello. My daughter died.

I am comforted by this song below. Music has a way of inviting me in to a sacred space and filling all the gaps. I listen to this song a lot lately. I like to imagine that day when I will see her again. I picture her walking right into my arms.

“Hello. I’ve been waiting for you. I didn’t know if you’d recognize my voice. Because I’ve been whispering your name, again and again. I’ve been imagining this day. And I’ll never be the same.

I’ve missed you so.

Without you here it’s not the same. I’ve been waiting here…

Welcome home. It’s so good to see your face.” (lyrics by Joy Williams: Welcome Home).

Photos by Smashed Photography


  • Reply For your Reading Pleasure...Links and Books 8 - Morning Motivated Mom October 16, 2015 at 5:54 AM

    […] Navigating the Seasons: What was and will Never be Again (I have been following her story and couldn’t decide which link to post. So I am sharing two.) […]

  • Reply Veronica October 8, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    Your posts always hit me so hard. We lost our 19 month old son to SMA in April, and I was just having a lot of these same feelings today. and I told my husband just yesterday how I was getting my teeth cleaned and as the subject of kids came of I kind of blurted about losing our son. How i feel like i lost a limb, like my pain should be visible. And instead it is not, no one would know by looking at me. So i find myself blurting it out. It is such a big part of who i am now that someone not knowing that about me is hard to deal with. Thank you for your posts.


  • Reply Diana Trautwein October 5, 2015 at 8:12 PM

    Oh, oh, oh. So much pain, so exquisitely told. Your missing her is quite beautiful to behold, Michaela. I know that doesn’t help much, but it’s so very true. And I want to very gently say to you that she did not lose. She did not lose. Beautiful Florence Marigold is a winner to the core. Oh my, yes. Much love to you as you walk this lonely road. You will always miss her, dear one. Always. But it will not always hurt quite so much as it does right now. Promise.

  • Reply Tania October 2, 2015 at 4:48 PM

    What a beautiful/sad song! I’m so sorry you have to go through this life without your precious little girl. 💔 big hugs 💛💛

  • Reply Kali October 2, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    Your words, her face, your yearning ache just draws me in Michaela, and makes me wish I could scoop Florence up and sing and and twirl with her too. She is such a beauty, a treasure, and so so loved and missed. But it also makes me want to just come and rub your shoulders and feet with nice smelling oils and cook you a big Indian meal and tell you that you are grieving so beautifully & courageously. I love watching your life from afar, seeing your gorgeous business thrive and I am so inspired as you let Jesus seep in and through every part of your being. All my love & all His peace, friend.

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