I take out a sticky note

to write what's on my heart -- "a pink one", I think. "She might have liked that".

We've always had these dreams of a cutting garden. Taking the few steps outside to clip a quick, little joyful stem, watch as it lends us warmth and happiness, curiosity by all over the next few days. Transitioning from vibrant and sweet to a paler hue, and mild. The petals open and reveal a new, lovely shape as the days wear on. And then, they drop. One by one. Time to try again.

In December, after we found out we had lost our little one, the idea of this rose garden shone a bit more brightly. I had taken a step back from working, preemptively ensuring a three month maternity leave to get acquainted with our new babe and allow time for healing. Now, the future felt like looking up through a frosted glass ceiling. I could make out the general idea of it, I knew it was there and, at times, the light shined through. But, as ceilings do, it made the clarity of our future feel just out of reach.

The garden came to fruition. My boys helped me build the bed and fill it with three different kinds of soil. We chose six different roses in various shades and shapes and planted them with care. Over the last six months, we've tended to it daily, keeping pests away, watering it, feeding it. Naturally, we've found it to be a new space to go when our minds tend to wander. It's a new source of life that has helped to fill our souls when we lost the one we hoped for most. Every few days, when the cycle of life has ended for our last set of trimmed blooms, we'll clip new ones to replace those that sat on our kitchen table. We've been able to gift neighbors, friends and family with cheery, colorful blooms that were born and grew and thrived from a place of isolation and darkness, but what evolved into love and care.

It was just today that I realized, this very date that she was supposed to be in our arms, that the birth flower of our baby girl is a rose. Just like a rose, we will continue to love her and fill up our souls with the joy she brought us for the short time she was a part of me.