I have always loved the New Years celebrations, even more so than Christmas. As a Venezuelan, I love all the crazy traditions that we do when the clock strikes midnight (run around with empty suitcases for a promise to travel next year, hide money and then find it so you can find money next year, eat lentils, eat 12 grapes, etc.) and I've always done a few of those myself. This year however, I don't have the strength or the willingness to be happy and celebrate that 2016 will be over in a few hours.

The world is delighted that 2016 will be over soon as most people think this was the worst year so far in their lifetime; and I won't argue with that because I don't know those people and I have no clue what they've been through. But, I can't say that 2016 was the worst year in my life and I actually dread that this year will come to an end as I feel that the world will be leaving Olivia in 2016 and for me and my family, she's here to stay.

My 2016 started amazingly surrounded by my family and everyone being delighted as they all found out I was pregnant on the 27th of December, so the news were still fresh. The first six months of 2016 were among the best of my life! I was happy beyond measure, we traveled a lot and saw family more than we normally would and I had no fears in my little bubble as Olivia was safe in my belly and she will soon be with us and life was going to be even better than we had dreamed of. Two weeks before Olivia was born, I remember telling Pierre that I truly thought our lives were perfect and how proud I was of both of us for everything we had accomplished in life so far as not everyone does that in a lifetime. Sure we both have plenty more ambitions, but in that moment there was nothing else I wanted besides the three of us to be together.

So yes, the first six months of 2016 were AMAZING and of course I was sad that a lot of famous people I like (David Bowie, I love you) moved on; but in MY life and MY bubble everything was as it should be.

The Second Act of 2016

My life changed for the worst on the 16th of June 2016 when I heard the words "I can see the heart very well... and it's not beating" - Nobody should ever have to hear those words, no matter who you are or what you've done in this or other lives... If you, like me, have been told that line or something similar: I am sorry beyond words.

Olivia was born on the 19th of June, so we still had to wait a few days before meeting her.... So I was still pregnant but Olivia wasn't alive and I could tell the difference. That Friday Pierre and I left the hospital and went to the supermarket because that normally makes me happy and the very nice cashier joyfully asked staring at my belly: Nice! How many weeks are you? or maybe it was Nice! Not long to go! (yes, everything from that day is a blur). I panicked and made noises that made her believe I spoke no English so I then broke down and ran outside...

Not everything was bad at the hospital though, we met some of the nicest people that made hell a more gentle place and helped us in each step we had to take in order to meet Olivia. Of course, the hospital also gave us the best moment in our lives and that's when we finally got to meet the perfect human that had been growing in my belly for nine months. Those hours of all three of us together are the most precious ones I'll ever have and it makes me smile most of the time as I can almost feel her hand on my face. But that doesn't last very long as I'm reminded quite fast that those hours will all we have together and they are a memory, not something we can do again by simply walking to her room. That reality makes life simply unbearable at times.

I wish I've never met any of the people I have or done any of the things I got to do because Olivia isn't here. But, those people are my lifeline and I know I really believe that I would've still met them in a playground and we would still be friends and our kids will still play together - Only we would have been able to see all of this and not just imagine it happening wherever they are. 

Yes, parts and events of 2016 makes everyone believe that this is the beginning of the end and that the world has gone mad; and yes it is always easier to focus on the bad that's being thrown at our faces than dig ourselves out of the pile of shit we sometimes are under (and let's be clear, sometimes all we need to do or can do is sit in the crap and wait a bit before even trying to come out). But, I have always tried to hold on to the full part of the glass and in the last 6.5 months it has felt like such hard work that I sometimes fail and go back to the empty part. However, I always have to try because life still gives me great things every day and I just have to try to push the crap and see them. Clearly, I feel like a fraud most of the time and that I'm forcing myself to smile or walk when I just don't want to - But, sometimes I do want to smile and I do walk and even jog and that is really all I can hope for. So I will keep trying.

Leaving 2016 is something I don't really want to do, I am not interested in any of the celebrations I have always loved and I am dreading moving away from the day the three of us where all together and I held Olivia and was able to stare at her. The world keeps trying to think that I will move on with time and the new year gives it the time weapon and I hate that: Hello world, I will never move on! I will learn a little bit everyday about living here whilst my daughter is in heaven, but things will never be perfect and I'm coming to terms with that; so please stop pushing me going to a destination that doesn't exist for a mum like me. Also, please don't think that I should be "better" because it's been X measurement of time and understand that good or bad isn't a metric you can measure for people as those states are in the eye and life of the beholder. My good or bad are mine and it won't change because someone else is in a better or worst place than me.

Every day from the 19th of June 2016 has been sad because it's one more day that we spent apart and that is a very empty half of the glass and one that I will revisit as long as I live. But, every day from the 19th of June is also one day closer to when we are together again and whilst I won't rush it, I will be happy whenever it comes and I hopefully wake up with you crying and I'll finally get to pick you up, calm you down and look at you alive and well. That is the full part of the glass and the one that makes me live and smile when I do.

So, I will welcome 2017 as it will bring us closer to being reunited and any day I get to spend with Pierre and the people we love is a great day. But, I will never hate 2016 nor will I ever be happy that it's gone, as it taught me what unconditional love is and that I still get to parent my child even though we are not in the same place. 

2016 you have been epic and horrible but THANK YOU for giving me a perfect daughter that I will love in this life and forever. 2017, you better be awesome and don't bitch slap me because I'll slap you back! 

I love that one of my best nine is a moment of perfect happiness, Olivia's babyshower!

I love that one of my best nine is a moment of perfect happiness, Olivia's babyshower!