Tuesday, March 17, 2009

5 years...


Five years….it’s been five years since I’ve held you. So many people asked if I was doing something special this year for you but the truth is…I wanted desperately to pretend that this wasn’t a milestone. It’s not a milestone that I’m proud of. It’s not a milestone that I can look at you and see how you’ve grown. It’s just a number people use to highlight time has passed…but I don’t want to be reminded.
Your daddy wanted so badly to “fix” me this week but the reality is only you could do that. I’ve heard of people talking about phantom pain after losing a limb. I can say first hand…there’s nothing phantom about it. The feeling I have after I don’t see Sean and/or Keira for a few days pales in comparison. This is actual pain. This is gut-wrenching longing that can’t be relieved. I’ve tried…to put on that “I’m just sad” demeanor but really I feel like I’m dying inside. I feel empty.

Keira still only responds to who is your other brother with “Connor” but Sean has started asking about you. Nothing major just out of the blue questions…like “Where’s Connor?” I responded with “Heaven”, it seemed like the right response for a 4 year old. He asked why he couldn’t play with you and my heart broke a little more in that moment. On one hand I’m so happy that he’s asking and on the other hand I’m so afraid that he’s asking. I don’t want him to lose his innocence but this is also our reality…our family. Today on our way to the hospital to drop off the in memory preemie outfits, I told Sean that it was for you. He asked if we would be able to take you home…well, needless to say the tears flowed as I held him.
A few weeks ago, a co-worker lost his baby. As I read the email, I broke down in tears for their baby, Andrew but more for them. For the pain that five years has made tolerable but hasn’t made non-existent. I don’t cry anymore when I see a pregnant person but I do still feel some jealously when I see that complete family picture.

I know that tomorrow I will wake up and be relieved that today is in the past. I know that I will smile, laugh and even dare I say it…be happy. It’s just that when your anniversaries come around the ”what-ifs”, the “I’ll never know”, and the guilt basically overwhelm me. I still want to scream why me…why you! I want to know you as a baby, toddler, boy and as a man. I want to know how Sean and Keira are different/same. I want to know what kind of oldest son you would have been. I want to know what kind of brother you would have been. I want you.
I’m so sorry that I can’t read you a bedtime story. What I wouldn’t give just to hear you say “mommy”. If it’s not too much to ask…would you come to me just once in my dreams? Regardless, I will continue to acknowledge you as my son, no matter how uncomfortable it makes others. I will proudly say I have three children. I just can’t stop wishing all three were physically with me.

I love you then, now and forever.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Holiday Cards

I'm in great turmoil over the "holiday card"...you know, the ones where people sending you the postcard of their smiling children and wishing you a wonderful holiday season.

I HATED these for the first few years after Connor died. I swore right then that I would never send another holiday card (mine had been the traditional holiday card - no pictures up to that point). The first year...I got so many it was insane. But each year the number dwindles...that whole you didn't send me one so I don't have to send you one starts to happen.

Ok...so here's the confession. I only got a few this year and it made me sad. Upon replacing the pictures on my fridge with the new ones I did get, there were some that I've had up for a year and now won't have a replacement. I don't think I did anything to those people that just didn't send a card with their kids updated picture. Could I actually want that?

Then I find myself thinking, well I'll just send them next year and people will start back up. But here's the kicker...I can't. I can't put Sean and Keira's picture on a card and act as if that's all my children and isn't my life great. Crap, I still have a hard time signing friggin cards. Maybe there's a way for me to signify Connor on the card without being so bold about it...hmmm.

On another front, Sean asked me (completely out of no where) "where was Connor"? I was so taken aback I just spit out "In heaven". Done...end of conversation...he said ok and left. I don't know if I believe in heaven but it just seemed like the right thing to respond and maybe the fact that I said it so quickly a part of me does believe that. I'm now left wondering when and what the next question will be. I truly hope that my openness with him leads to the Connor's death in our family seems normal versus completely traumatizing the child.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

As most people are excited and joyfully say Happy New Year...I'm not quite there. I am dreading this year, ok, I'm dreading 3/17 this year. It will be 5 years but I don't want to get into that right now.

Our Christmas was good. Sean checked to make sure Santa ate his cookies and Keira was just proving that there really is no baby left in her. We donated to a food bank in Connor's memory this year.

No one really mentioned Connor to me this year. No one offered to light a candle for him or donate for him (and if they did they didn't tell me). It makes me sad but I wasn't very bothered by it. I think I'm in a place where these holidays are really for my living children and Connor is just for me that day. But what it does do is freak me out for whether people will remember his anniversary.

It's funny...I've started feeling like I could relate to people again and wham...I'm smacked with how different we are. We were out watching a football game yesterday when somehow we got on the topic of mothers & mother-in-laws in the delivery room. We were asked "but weren't you freaked out that your baby would have one leg, etc"...hmmm...NOPE, I was freaked that my baby was going to DIE.

The funny part is I used to be upset that I was different. Now, I'm kinda proud of the things that I worry about versus what others do.