Maybe it's because I was never a mother before that I do not mark birthdates and important sections of time and the 28th came and went and I did not remember that my son would have been half a year old.... It was not until I read Susan's beautiful blog for Will that I remembered-- her son was three days younger than Ben and went the same way.
And I am gripped with guilt that I did not know it.
How could I have missed it?
Sometimes I think that I am just whistling past the cemetary, making light of this darkest sorrow, and just trying to barrell past it. I don't know when I started doing that. Maybe when we decided to wait to start trying for another baby until January. Though everything in me screams and weeps at the thought of it, there are a million reasons why and not even one good one to excuse the fact that I am not borrowing my sister-in-law's baby chicken costume for my son to wear tomorrow.
I've been quiet for a month, but know that my heart is such a complicated place. I find my hand tracing the scar across my abdomen when I lie down to sleep at night, and I long to feel a baby kicking there again. And I imagine what my fair haired child would be like and I grieve the upcoming holidays without him and I love my Father in heaven but I wonder again and again at His choice to allow this thing. And I also feel the deep gratitude of survival and I know that I am so happy to still be here, but every time I think of Ben-- which is daily-- I wish I could really remember what he looked like. All I can recall is his strawberry blonde cap of hair and his precious button nose, with brand-new-baby pores that brand new babies have-- you know what I'm talking about? And in my drugged and grief fogged state I poked his little nose, playfully, like I would have had he been breathing, and it was a perfect little nose. I know that I looked at and felt his little fingers and I remember feeling faint when I saw that his nail beds were purpling... horror.
Oh, but know this-- things get better all the time. I do not feel wild with grief like I did weeks ago. I feel that, in a way, it has simply moved in with me. It lives with me, follows me like a faithful puppy, and just sort of waits for me to glance its way. It doesn't assert itself like it used to. But it lives here. It has taken the space my child abandoned.
I cannot believe that I missed his six month mark. What could I have been doing? What kind of mother would I have been, if I could forget such a date? It may seem silly, even trivial, but the weight of it sits on my chest and pounds at me-- guilt. Sadness. Refusal.
My God, I am thankful for this ability to feel and love. Please come make it useful. Please come make this all mean something. And if You see my son, please tell him that I love him...