Some temporarily I hope.
Others, I don't think I'll ever be seeing them again. Sadly.
The last few days of August and most of September 2008. With the exception of a few major events and a bunch of moments caught in freeze frame.
The ability to make decisions, even irrelevant ones, in less than half an hour.
My sense of humour.
My sense of perspective.
Most of my seemingly irrepressible optimism. See? Only most? Irrepressible.
Possibly I am intensely stupid and/or insane.
The ability to ignore double buggies. I just have to look in 'em. Why? Why? Just look away you idiot.
My pride in my appearance. Hair sprouting in places that it shouldn't. A few extra pounds that could stand to disappear.
I suspect a couple of my friendships might have hit the rocks. Possibly just MIA rather than genuinely lost. They may yet turn up again. See irrepressible optimism above.
The ability to look passing strangers in the eye. Ditto smile in the general direction of passing strangers. Ditto make polite conversation with strangers in shops, queues and so on.
The undiluted pleasure I used to take in the children of others. And in imagining the future children of others. All tainted with envy. I find my twin niece and nephew hard to be with. Just seems to throw that gap into relief. Where she should have been. Or could have been. Or would have been. If only things had been different.
My peace of mind.
My ability to sleep for more than three hours consecutively. But I think that one was on its way out anyway.
The ability to have much genuine sympathy with those who want to cry on my shoulder over relationship troubles, financial troubles, speeding or parking tickets, organisation of wedding troubles, exam results trouble, work trouble or anything that isn't actually make or break.
Possibly this is why some of those friendship of mine are currently MIA.
Any driving skill I might have had. I now drive either in a rage or in a dream. Parking ability seems to have improved though. Not much of a consolation prize I'm afraid.
The ability to think about anything other than the birth of my daughters, the death of my eldest and the survival of my youngest. I must have thought about other things prior to these events but I honestly can't remember what. Mascara? Music? Diets? Who knows. Whatever it was, there is no room for it in my head anymore. I've become intensely boring. I bore myself. I even dream about it.
The good times. Hopefully in the temporarily misplaced category.
Fear of death. Probably temporarily and again not much of a consolation prize.
A couple of thicknesses of skin. I feel as those I have been flayed. What would have been a minor tickle this time last year now feels like someone poking me with a sharp stick. Over sensitive doesn't even begin to cover it.
The vague sense of interest I used to feel in newspaper articles about premature babies or twins. Now they are objects for detailed study. Birth weights. Gestation length. And why or why, celebrities out in Hollywood are you all so obsessed with having twins these days?
But yes, now for the big one . .
My girl. My eldest child. My daughter. How did I let that happen?
And why do I have this strange feeling that, if I could only figure out how to do it, I could snatch her back. Steal her back from wherever she is, whilst somebody's back is turned. That I could reach through the veil, make a grab for her and run like hell. That if I can only prove that I am not an appalling person, not an appalling mother, she will be returned to me. That I will be able to hold her, smell her, nurse her, sing to her, love her.
It is the flip side of being an irrepressible optimist. This stupid futile hope that refuses to die. It is so very cruel. My poor old brain whizzes away, trying to come up with a rescue scheme. One that will work. Today's plan. This is the one, this one will work. It's today. Today she'll come home.
But she won't. She was lost. On the 29th of August 2008. She was lost. I had to let her go. She's not coming home. I still don't quite believe it you know?