Nine months ago, my daughter was born still.

It is not difficult for me to imagine what Lauren would be like at nine months. Her motor skills would be becoming more fine-tuned. She’d be more vocal, practicing with sounds and trying to form words. I’d always wondered if her first sounds would be more English or more Japanese, which language her first word would be in. Her personality would really be coming out, and I’d always imagined her as happy, smiling. She’d be crawling all over that little Susono apartment, perhaps even cruising from chair to desk to table. I’d thought I’d be spending this summer trying to keep up with her, teaching her and playing with her and watching Geordie play with her when he came home from work.

We would have been ending our first year in Susono, and even when I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to have a summer with Lauren. There were summer festivals to look forward to, trips to the sea to plan, parks and aquariums to explore. So much of the world to share with her.

I miss my daughter every day; I miss the experiences we’ll never get to share, the memories we’ll never get to make. I miss her as much as I ever have.

But we keep on living. We keep on going. This month, for the first time in a long time, there is hope that we’ll get out of this holding pattern. We’re waiting to hear about a job offer for Geordie, an opportunity that will take us someplace new. It’s a chance – not for us to start over but to get back to living our lives together.

Even though Lauren is not with us physically, she is always in my mind, always in my heart. She is in the joy of each day, in the hope for the future. That’s something I’m learning to accept. It’s better than never having had her in my life at all.