There are a zillion dates that I try my darndest to remember. Birthdays and anniversaries. House purchases and engagements. With 10 siblings (in-laws included) and their 13 children, there are a LOT of dates to remember. And then there are our close friends and their families to remember.
My calendar is mayhem.
But, there are a few days that I hold so dear to me. They are literally etched on my heart. One day, when I pass, someone needs to examine that organ because I SWEAR to you, these days are scribbled on it.
It’s THAT close to me.
Feb 13. June 9. Jan 3. June 13. October 27. June 7.
These are my little ones’ birthdays.
Well, five of them are their “would have been” birthdays.
And on Jan 3, Will, you would have been 5.
Gosh, I miss you. I really, really do. I wonder if your hair would have been curly, like Emara. I wonder if you would have a tall, athletic build like your daddy or if you would have inherited the Gregory ghetto booty. After I had Emara, I spent a lot of time crying over you. Everytime she would change in personality, I would wonder if you would have done the same thing. Watching her grow made me ache to have seen you grow.
You are the only one of five that we named. When we found out we were pregnant with you, I instantly knew you were a boy. And I instantly knew your name would be Will. After your Pop, Bill Zibell. Your great grandpa, William Gregory. It is your daddy’s middle name. Your Bumpa Ian’s middle name. Your name had a lot of meaning because it was connected to so many people we love. And because we got to see you weekly via ultrasound, we were able to find out that you were a boy sooner than most. After we lost you, it was confirmed.
I never named the other babies because honestly, I felt weird naming a baby that I didn’t know it’s gender. It sounds SO silly, but I didn’t want to get to heaven and meet Timothy, the adorable girl. Over analyzed and slightly dramatic? Probably. But each of you are SO REAL to me; I can vividly picture the day that I meet you all. And I don’t want to ruin that moment because I named my son ‘Samantha’.
Will. I held you tight when you were growing. I remember firmly holding onto my belly like somehow that would protect you. I did try my hardest to protect you. I am so sorry that my body didn’t do that. I wasn’t afraid with you. I felt so sure. I always said, “Where there is a Will, there is a way.” I called you my strong-willed baby. I hope you remember that when we meet. I hope you can somehow feel the massive amount of love that Scott and I have for you and know how unbelievably sad and hard and awful and heartbreaking it was to say goodbye. Your life still matters to me and your daddy.
Oneday, I will meet you. And I will instantly know exactly who you are… And that has to be enough for now. And, so it is.
Until then, I celebrate you. And I celebrate that fact that I am your mother. And I look forward to the day where I get to see you again.
Your momma loves you something fierce, little buddy. Something fierce.
Now, to the people who read this… Please, please don’t feel bad for me. Unless that feeling compels you to send cookies. Every now and again, I need to pour onto
paper keyboard, my heart. And with over 200 unpublished blogposts, seldom do I share them with anyone else. But, sometimes, I do. And it is never in hopes that you will feel bad for me.
Thankfully, I am out of the trenches. 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 S.U.C.K.E.D. Those years were sad. And painful. And kicked my butt. But, I had support and friends and family who weren’t afraid to ask me about it. And friends who let me be sad way more than what was acceptable. Family who let me cry during random birthday parties and skip baby showers. And although losing a loved one is a LIFELONG thing, the worst is over and now I am left with some sadness, yes…but more depth and deeper joy and empathy beyond what I could have ever comprehended had I not experienced this. I would take it all back if I could and have each one of those babies, even if it meant I wouldn’t have learned those lessons. But, it is what it is, and so I stand forever changed and grateful for a gentle God. Also, I am surrounded with the best kinds of people who love me and aren’t uncomfortable with all this baby loss talk. Even after all these years.
So, if you feel anything, take those feelings and go take care of someone you know who is currently in the trenches of pain, heartache, loss.
They need you. And chocolate. And movie tickets. And those little cookies from Cookies By Design. And a hug. And a glass of wine. And a seat buddy on the floor of their kitchen. And to be told that you love them. And not much more talking. Just sitting and listening and little to no talking. Unless it is about the brownies that you are making and bringing over all warm and gooey.
Then chat away. But, don’t forget the vanilla ice cream.
For said brownies.