Wasn’t washed away

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Reflections years after having silent born sons. quote by Anne Lamott: The depth of the feeling continued to surprise and threaten me but each time it hit again and I bore it...I would discover that it hadn

I have three Junior Tribe Members that don’t live with me.  On Monday, one of those JTM’s came over for supper...we caught up as we ate our meal, made snickerdoodles together–one scooping cookie dough while the other rolled the balls in the cinnamon sugar–and then watched the final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I so enjoyed hearing his news and just hanging in the same space.

I visited the other two JTM’s today that aren’t under my roof.  I went to the cemetery to visit them…or rather, where their ashes are buried. I brought them each a white rose, as I have for years…

…”Crapiversary”

That’s a term I have learned in the last year…a significant remembering of a hard, awful day years ago.

I kinda liked it.

I was thinking about using it for today, but I have decided not. It doesn’t fit

Today, June 18th, is the day when I remember my silent sons. It’s the day I remember the year that I celebrated Mother’s Day as a pregnant woman, anticipating being a mom. The year I went to the hospital thinking I would be told I was an over concerned first-time mom. The year they actually told me, instead, that it was bad, really bad. The year then I found out that I didn’t have one, but two little ones whose lives hung in the balance. The year that I went on solid and utter bedrest to save these little ones, and it looked like we might beat the odds. I remember it was the year that we didn’t beat the odds, and one morning they couldn’t find the heartbeat of either baby.  The year they were born silently.

It is not a crapiversary. There are those.  But this is not one of them. This is a birthday.

It is a day to honour two little Junior Tribe Members who I held briefly in my arms, but will hold forever in my heart.

So…I write all the time about the value of connection and community.  I know it, I see it, I live it, and and I work with this knowledge every day.  It’s the air I breath…but today I am experiencing it in my life in ways that fairly take my breath away:
  • The annual daisies from L and G…every year she remembers–even the year when she was getting married the next day. Those daisies are a highlight of my life.
  • I am married this year for this birthday of mourning…and Husband is on call the entire day. Let me know to call him whenever and wherever and he will come.  Gladly.  Ready to be there for me. Ready to give me space (which I think is even harder). Whatever I want.  And oh…supper today is taken care of–I don’t have to think about it. I mean…Seriously. Wow.
  • M, my Thursday morning coffee buddy for 10 years, was sitting waiting for me this morning and treated me to a latte today.  She often gives me a gift on June 18th–their birthday…she said she couldn’t think of a single thing to get, but she said she could give me something even more important:  The gift of knowing my little JTM’s were not forgotten by her…they are very clearly remembered.  She’s right.  That is the most valuable gift ever.
  • Emails from  family letting me know they remember.  (Note to self:  I suck at dates and remembering other people’s significant dates…I gotta write things down and think to let people know it’s on my radar…knowing people remember rocks! To know that people are with me during the hard times is big.)
Today is a day that I remember, specifically…where I go to the gravesite to cry and think and pray and ponder and imagine.
But, like many who have and continue grieve, it has become a part of the fabric of who I am–everyday.

It doesn’t make me miserable anymore (there were months that it did)it changed me.

I think the me I’ve become is wiser…Life happens.  It isn’t fair. There are times when nothing anyone says will make it better. When someone hurts, care for them.  When something hurts, it’s ok to cry. Y’know…obvious stuff that sometimes we forget to know.

I think the me I’ve become is one that understands pain and loss better than I did before. I’m kinder.

I think the me after being their mom, and losing them is braver.  I have more courage. I know how to bounce back. There is a sense of:

“If losing kids doesn’t finish me off, nothin’will. So what the heck–lemme try it/say it/do it/live it!”

So…this is a hard day, but a good one.  It’s not a crapiversary.  It’s a day when I celebrate two of my children that rarely get to be celebrated. It’s a day when I surprisingly find myself grateful–for what having them being my children, and grieving their lives–has done in my life.

It’s a day when I cry–but it’s not crappy. It’s a gift.

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