Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I Will Carry You, All My Life


Happy Almost Birthday.  Today is the day that I was secretly hoping would be your birthday.  When we were expected Rebecca I felt like her birthday would be too close to Britt's. I at least wanted their special days a month apart.  And they are January 22 and February 22.  So when we found out you were due the last day of the year, You Daddy "knew" that you had to come a few days earlier to get the tax break and get home home before the 31st so that everything would be billed on this year's insurance, since we were about to meet the year's deductible.  The midwives were tentatively agreeable.  I though, secretly hoped that your special day would be a month earlier than Britt's.  I was hoping for today December 22, 2015.  Like the other two whose birthdays I chose, you would share your special day with someone special, Aunt Brenda's birthday is today.  Plus that gave us the chance to have you and bring you home right before Christmas, what could be better.

But all my dreams for you, everything that should have made today one of absolute happiest days of my life, lays around me in pieces.  I can remember with such clarity the moment your Daddy turned to me in his little red car, sitting in the Church yard out in front of Little Union on New Year's Eve and asked me to marry him.  I can remember the wonder of seeing Britt on the 3D ultrasound, how very much he looked like your Daddy.  I can remember crying when I first held Ruth.  I can remember the feeling of knowing I had as He told me that Rebecca was a girl.  Each of these moments is etched with amazing joy and wonder on my mind.  But with you there is the bitterness and sorrow of broken dreams.  There is the agony of the life-long unknowns.  There is the loss of innocence and of myself.

The wonder and beauty of meeting you for the first time.  Watching you lock eyes with me for the first time and being once more in amazement of the unfathomable miracle that new life is.  Holding a new warm baby that fits in my arms just right.  Hearing your little voice.  Crowing about finally getting a red head or once again hearing your Daddy say "better luck next time, darling."  The joyous calls to the family.  Watching Rebecca become a big sister as she holds you for the first time with the amazing look that each of her siblings before her got as they became a big brother and big sister.  The feeling of home, and all being right in the world.  All that replaced by complete silence, the cold and clamminess of death. A Christmas baby born on a sunny, warm day in August.  Looking out the window and seeing life unchanged for everyone else.  Hearing the heartbeat of every child but my own.  Then to have you at night, and the emptiness.  Everything out of season, everything wrong.  Instead watching Rebecca cradle and talk to my locket and say your name.  Without any understanding that she has a little sister.

More was lost than just that moment with you though.  I have heard it said that the loss of a child is the loss of the future.  I have lost the two year old you, the one with the streak of wild defiance and ecstatic joy all at once.  I have lost the five year old you, the one who NEEDS to understand everything, to make sense of the world around her.  I have lost the 8 year old you, not a baby but no where near grown.  I have lost the teenage you, the one who feels everything accutely and longs for something while not knowing what.  I have lost the young woman, who believes in everything and fears nothing, who runs full throttle chasing her dreams.  I have lost the young married you, the one who loves deeply and has such starry eyed plans for my grandchildren.

More was lost than the major things we even lost the mundane, the ordinary.  I don't know your eye color or hair color.  I don't know your favorite color, what you like to eat.  I don't know if you are a Coke girl or a Dr. Pepper girl.  I don't know if you a Gator fan or an Auburn fan.  I don't know if you love to read or to be out doing.  I don't know anything about you.  What sort of personality do you have?

All of this is agonizing my daughter.  But despite the enormity of the pain that losing you has brought.  I wouldn't give you up.  You remain my daughter.  I could have had just another period in April.  Life could have continued in our own blissful family of 5.  I could have never been given you.  Our short few months together while not preferable to a lifetime together, is far better than to have never been given you.  For a short time, I held you.  I heard your heartbeat. I saw you roll and tumble. I felt you move.  Oh I'm so sorry it wasn't safe for you there, I am so sorry you couldn't stay.  One day though I'll be there too, and one day I will see myself the wonders that you see.  I will walk with you there.  And we'll know each other.  One day He'll come for me too, and we can be in His very presence.  Until that day, we love you so very, very much.


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