One year ago tomorrow, my entire world changed. Or more or less came to a complete and abrupt halt. On August 23rd, I laid on the table, saw the picture on the ultrasound and knew. He was gone. It’s taken me an entire year to name him, but he does have a name now. It felt right, it felt like time.
I sometimes feel like I’m over the loss (or through it?) and then Char will be playing with my necklace I ordered last year to remember him by and will drop the peridot charm down the sink drain. Ben found us in the bathroom, me in a futile attempt to take the drain off and find the tiniest, lightest charm there is, and Char looking very confused. It’s the little things, the tiniest signs that, depending upon the day, can make me come undone. Thankfully compared to last year, these days are more or less every six months or so instead of weekly.
It’s a bizarre commemoration, August 23rd. But I know it will always be there in my calendar, creeping closer and closer, begging to be recognized. I always think of Mary, mother of Jesus in Luke 2:19, “Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.” (The Message version). I do this so often as a mom, hold silent vigils, say silent prayers, celebrate the small victories only I notice. This is one of them. Being so close to delivering Jameson, I think of both of my boys often. Yesterday it occurred to me that Ben does too. We communicate well and discuss almost every little thing, but yesterday he surprised me. At the hospital someone asked him what number this baby was and without skipping a beat, he said 3. Most days I’m content to be on earth, but I can’t wait for the day when all 3 of our kids can play together.
To say I’m a different person now would be an understatement. I had no local friends, this was about 2 months before I started Stroller Strides and completely changed my community and life. I’ve said before that losing our baby made me a better mom, and it did. I would never say I was thankful to lose him, but I am thankful for God’s redemptive power and how He turned that pain into something I couldn’t have otherwise become. If anything ever happens to either of my babies, I’ll always be able to say I could not have held them closer, hugged them tighter. My loss is my reason to be more patient, more compassionate, more present.
My sister Chloe read this poem at our wedding, and it was fitting then, talking about our new marriage. As we’ve grown as a couple and become parents it’s become even more meaningful. Every time I hear it now, I think of our sweet Peanut baby. One arrow safe in the quiver, two more to go.