Well it seems that my turkey dinner will be had 850 miles from home.
My parents are making the trip to see my sister and baby that weekend.
The apprehension has already started. Days away from home. Might be alone as it depends on if Hubby can get time off work. Oh yes, and the baby in the room, my nephew.
Will my sister understand that I do not touch or hold babies? I am still not able to. Will they feel slighted? Oh, land. Will they understand that me coming and being there is all that I can do? All that I can handle. If she goes to term he will almost the same ## of days old as “C” was.
Four years ago, I was at home preparing to go to my son’s funeral. I have been up most of the night. I just returned from getting my hair done. I have thick, straight, baby fine hair. It does what it does and I have the best hairdresser, that made the day far less stressful.
The day mostly is a blur. Arriving at the funeral home. The drive and surrounding drives were packed with cars. My pastor was warned. There could be 10 or there could be 100. As it was, I believe there were 170+ people there that day. Our pastor had married us 8 years previous and used many of the same scriptures from our wedding day. It had great meaning for my husband and I.
We then made the 10 minute drive to his grave. We had internment followed by my husband reading his last bedtime story. Then it was over. There we stood hand in hand. Looking into the grave of our only child.
This photo is etched into our son’s headstone.
Today feels much the same. The weather is a bit darker. However, there is a breeze. The emptiness, dread and sense of nothingness has not changed in 4 years. No matter, the time, the space, the distance. A grieving parent cannot outrun, out travel these thoughts, these feelings.
Today, I thank God I had 19 days with our beautiful son. Today, I am grateful to be able to call myself his mother. Today, I feel like the single biggest failure.
You remember those moments. Those thoughts. Those dreams. You remember each and every wish and demand. I begged God to take me instead of him. I begged him to protect his life. I begged him for my husband’s sake to protect his only child. When you have sat vigil at your child’s side watching and protecting them. Begging for their life only to have to beg God to take them from this world so that they will suffer no more. Time does not matter. Whether, they lived a day, a week, 19 days or 20 years. It is your child. Your life.
On the weekend, my husband and I went to town to get my summer flowers. I have many perennial beds and I do up a few pots for around the drive. In the 2 hours we were in town, we came across 3 different families that were in our prenatal class with us. Each of them now have 2 children. The reminders, the constants are always every present in our lives. It was difficult. I told my husband that I was ready, I needed to go home now..
These past 6 weeks much has taken place. Our cousin that was expecting. She had started contracting at 20 weeks 5 days and was hospitalized. She got ill the first week of April and delivered at 28 weeks 5 days. He weighed 3 lb s 3.08 oz and 15″ long. He has done well and is over 5 lbs. These weeks watching and knowing from afar have not been easy. They are most fortunate. No infections, no assisted breathing from day 1. One hopes so much they truly do understand just how fortunate they are.
I will be having a nephew come September. My sister is doing well. I knew in my heart it was a boy when she told me 10 weeks ago. It seems I am correct. All tests are great. She is nearing 39 and opted for amnio. Now, I mentally just look toward the markers, week 28, week 32.
Tonight, I will drive up the road to his grave. I will say goodnight and blow him a kiss. I will tell him that I love him so very much.
Today, I sit. I think, I wonder.
It is so very hard to express to those around you what this means. She is not my co-worker, she is not my BFF, she is not a random woman at the grocery store. She is my sister. The one who I grew with. The one I fought with. The one who will never know how much I protected as a child.
Our father left when I was 4 and she was 2. All of the anger, and fall out, fell upon me over the years. She was protected. She lived in a bubble. I have always felt my sister lived the charmed life. She has always been obvious to that around her. Just worried about herself.
This is in no way a judgement. I am only making a statement. Each of us are different and in how we deal with that around us. I have always allowed too much of the outside to the inside of my bubble. It has dominated my life. My husband’s. So and so needs this done or wants us to do that. I have never been able to draw that line in the sand. My sister always did.
We may live 14 hours apart and see each other rarely. We do not talk enough. However, she is my sister. I would do anything in life to protect her and always have. The night I called her to tell her she had better come to see “C” as things were getting worse. She was dating her now husband. She worked night shift as a bartender. She called for him to bring the computer to work to book a flight. She worked until 2 am and was on a flight home by 6:30. As she was booking the flight he said to her “I didn’t think you were that close.” She looked him in the eye and said “She is my sister! She called me to come. I am going home.”
I want to think good thoughts. I want the best to happen. In 24-28 weeks, I would like to meet my nephew or niece. There is something to be said for ignorance. Unfortunately, I am not able to fake the ignorance. I know the stress of a high-risk pregnancy. I know the joy of getting to the next goal. I would spend the next 9 months in bed if that is what it took for me to be in the same boat. However, it is unlikely that will ever happen. 40 has come and gone. Just like clockwork mother nature calls to crumble my world every 24-28 days.
I send prayers that all will be well. That there will be few to no bumps in this road. That he/she is as stubborn as their cousin “C” and will fight the fight.
I am happy for my sister, but my heart is still shattered.
There is no way to explain all of the emotions. Only those in this “Club“, ever truly know.
Sending you all warm wishes for a wonderful New Year.
DH and I will be staying in.
In the past we have taken over night trips with another couple, with dinner out and dancing. We have hit the bars or a house party. This year we will stay home and eat all of our favorite things and watch movies.
I began cooking last evening. Taco dip, bacon water chestnuts, stuffed mushrooms and sweet and sour meatballs. Enough to feed a whole house party but hey. We will be able to pick throughout the weekend.
We will also take a drive to “C’s” grave.
Tonight we face another year. As always, we wish for a year filled with memories and love. We dream for the what ifs. I am thankful for the love of my life and the life we have built. I am comforted with the knowledge that he is always there to hold my hand.
May you find peace and love as we begin 2016.
Sending warm wishes for a Merry Christmas to all far and wide.
Today, will bring a mix of feelings. Joy, love, cheer, sadness and a sense of emptiness. How can one feel all of those things at once?
Living with empty arms.
Last evening, as we stood at our son’s grave, all of these feelings were present. What would he have wanted from Santa? His reaction this morning as he rose to find gifts under the tree and candy in his stocking? The laughter and giggles that will never be heard around our tree.
We each have large families and holidays are spent at many big gatherings. Last evening, there were 22 of us. Food and drinks. Today there will be much the same for dinner at my Grandmother’s. Our numbers are quite low, with many cousins living away. We will be present, however, it will be difficult. We know the joy of a large family. Stories, memories, making new. However, there is a huge hole in our hearts that will never repair. It longs for our son.
As we stood last evening, my husband asked, “When will this pain end?” “Never, I said. Those that tell us otherwise, have never stood here on Christmas Eve.”
Merry Christmas to all. May your hearts be filled with warmth. May you make memories that will last your whole life through. With love from our home to yours.
Each year I have a goal. To be done shopping and wrapping by December 1st. My goal is to not feel rushed, stressed, crazy, nuts, annoyed at the stores.. The list goes on.
In the past years this has been increasingly more important. I cannot handle the people. I want to be involved but parts of me cannot. I cannot handle the elbow to elbow at the stores. The pushing, the tones of annoyance. I cannot handle listening to Mother A and Father B yelling at their respective children because they are in fact behaving like children.
I am sitting pretty good. The shopping is 97.5% complete. The wrapping is 60% complete. I started to decorate yesterday. No, the tree is not up. However, my husband has a Holiday Birthday so I leave the tree up until after New Year’s so that gives me a bit of time at the first of the month.
The past couple of weeks have been crazy. I have spent a total of one evening home. Go here go there. Midnight Madness, Black Friday, Tree Lighting in town, run errands, birthday parties, making crafts for this one and that one.
There is a Historic Site in my area that decks out for Christmas each year. All decorated to the nine’s and the ticket sales help with the upkeep and restoration. I have been wanting to attend for years but have never been able to fit it in. This year was a charm! It was beautiful. All the lights shimmering. All that was missing was a dusting of snow.
Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays. After “C” passed away the meaning left us. I no longer find much joy in the season. My whole reason for the hustle and bustle is gone. Well half of my reason. Although, no one under 10 lives at our home Santa always makes a stop. I have found over the years that I just want to be home. To close the door. To spend the time at home. I do not want to run here and there. I do not want to be on someone’s schedule. To change my life to fit their time. I do not wish to sound selfish. However, it seems that we are always the ones to change. To adjust, to fit in. No one ever wants to know if it works for us.
I cannot handle seeing all of the children. I find Christmas Eve service the hardest. All the little ones in their Christmas best. They are so very adorable! Most likely, we will not go again this year. We will go and spend time at “C”‘s grave.
We have received news in the past week that there will be another new addition to the family June 2016. Yes, in a family the size of ours it grows exponentially each year. We do our very best. We are so happy for them. That they will have the joy of a child in their life, however it once again reminds us of our loss.
Today I sit and I cry. My husband and I went to the woods yesterday. We cut down a tree. Tonight, I will decorate it for my son’s grave. It will have white twinkling lights and a huge silver star. White snowflakes and ribbons of red and white. Tonight, I will send all my love and wishes to my very own little Angel. Love, Mommy.
Last evening, I was taking a stroll on my treadmill. Which is conveniently located in front of the TV. As I flicked through the channels I decided to watch “Roseanne” re-runs.
Mistake # 1.
Who knew, that watching a show that had brought much laughter into our younger lives could make one cry so much. Yes, the show is considered a sitcom. However, if you sit down and watch a few episodes, you will soon realize the messages within. Last night’s episode “Her Boyfriend’s Back”. Found Becky and Mark borrowing Dan’s bike for the night without permission. We saw Roseanne & Dan trying to parent a teenage daughter. Becky learned the ultimate lesson of disappointment. She realized that making her parents angry was one thing but disappointment was far worse to endure. We see the love Dan felt for his daughter as he tried to bridge the gap between then after their falling out. Roseanne went to Mark and expressed her love for her daughter and silently told him that she only wants him to treat her as she should be.
Throughout this entire 30 minute show, flashes of my future kept coming and going. We will never have these times and arguments with our son. We will never be at wits end because he had started dating a new girl and was missing curfew. We will never get the opportunity to sit and chat and talk about that pretty new girl and the color of her hair and tease him about their future. As I sat and watched the show the tears continued to fall.
Who knew “Roseanne” could be so deep!