Yesterday, December 26, marked 11 months. Eleven unimaginable months. Eleven long months that have tested the limits of everything our bodies, brains and spirits thought they could handle. Eleven months since Momma last hugged her Peanut. And, even though the months have been long, it still feels like just yesterday since I watched you toddle across the room to bang on the TV screen, or play with your Elmo telephone. Or, give me a Connor-kiss.
Yesterday also marked the last day of Procardia - the medicine Momma has been taking to slow down Baby Bean's arrival. We needed to get into Week 37, which started a few days ago, but Momma also needed to make sure The Bean didn't arrive on the 26th. As silly as it may sound, I just can't bear to have his birth share a date with your death.
But, in an amazing, wonderful twist of fate, another little ray of joy entered the world yesterday. Joey's mom - Joey, who passed away just days after you - had a little baby girl yesterday. She and I have shared our waves of grief, our struggles to make sense of life, our highs and lows, and our side-by-side pregnancies for the last 8 months. Something about her birth yesterday makes so much sense to Momma, and it reinforces just how close you and Joey still are to this world, and to our hearts.
Peanut, we are now entering an interesting 3-4 week stretch of highway. A zone that probably needs its own large, blinking, neon caution sign. Warning! Caution! Joy, sadness, confusion, the beginning and end of life - all merging ahead! Just as we welcome The Bean, we will be acknowledging your 1-year angel milestone. I still have no idea what to call that date. Your anniversary? Angel date? Nothing seems accurate or appropriate. The day the world turned upside down? <sigh>
I am so worried my brain won't know how to manage these conflicting emotions. That it might start to confuse you and The Bean. That fear will take over, and I won't know how to celebrate his birth and life. My heart - and others who have traveled this road - assure me that won't be the case. And, as I've learned over the last year, only time and experience will tell. Anticipation and fear won't help. So, for now, I try to simply live day-by-day.
Peanut, I read an Earnest Hemingway quote yesterday that seemed oddly appropriate for this danger zone:
The world breaks everyone,
many are strong at the broken places.
(E. Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms)
While I don't believe this last year has made me stronger, it has forced me to band-aid and superglue the broken places in my soul. And, a new Momma has emerged. Maybe, just maybe, it is this new, patched-up version of Momma that will have the capacity to make sense of the next few weeks, months, years. Stay tuned.
Peanut, I miss you every second of every moment of every day. I know you've been watching, and you see the tears. It has been a hard few days, but only because we love and miss you so very much. To the moon and back. With bunches of love -