Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Noah!

Dear Noah,

I am the mother of a 3 year old. Hard to imagine! Has it really been three years? I couldn't imagine getting through a day right after losing you, let alone years, but here we are. Perhaps this will be our tradition with each other. I will sit and write you a letter each year to tell you what’s new, and how I still miss you and think about you every day. It felt good to do it last year. Natural somehow. What do you think?

I wonder what you would be doing now if you were here. What kind of birthday party would you want? What themes would be most meaningful to you? Who would your friends be (aside from the obvious folks we know)? I look at kiddos your age and measure up the sorts of things that they are into and wonder if those are the sorts of things you'd like too. Fortunately Aaron helps a little with that. I hope you don't mind, but in that spirit, your cake will be Curious George this year. Your brother thinks he is pretty fabulous, and I somehow think you'd like him too.

I found a picture of you the other day. It is one I haven't seen in a very long time of you and your Uncle Will. It was amazing to see your face. It brought you back to me for a moment and it meant so much. I wish I could look at you and not feel the weight of how you aren't there. It was a bittersweet moment. You were so beautiful. Most of your photos hardly did you justice. Almost makes me wonder if I really remember you and how you looked just right in my mind. This picture confirmed it, how handsome you were, and made me miss you all over again.

Last year I wondered what kind of a mom I would turn out to be after having lost you. This year I know better the answer to that question having had a year and a half under my belt. I read an article that was conveniently about "what type of mom are you?" I identified most with two types. One was the helicopter mom who hovers over everything that is going on (or, if I am not hovering, I want to be able to snap into hovering mode at a moment's notice if I feel I need to be safe). I have a hard time with environments that take this ability away from me because they drag my attention too much elsewhere. I also identify with the loner mom. Both because of the reason I just stated, and also, when I am in a new group of moms that I don't know, I have my gut clenched waiting for some over-friendly mom to ask me too many questions about my family. Mainly, looking at Aaron and saying "oh, is he your first?" I refuse to deny you in this world. I love you too much. And that is a lot to lay on somebody you just met at the same time. Though these sorts of social situations can be excruciating on me, I wouldn't trade this second chance I have been given in your brother for anything. Good lord is it hard work, but I love, love, love both of my boys and wouldn't trade the tough parts of being your mother for anything. The way I feel about you both makes it completely worth it.

Somehow or another, the opportunity to step up and change the law in Colorado happened. Lord knows you were there behind it all, as easily as it happened. Like it was meant to be. Your father and I were proud to be there to meet you halfway in this journey to protect babies the way we couldn't protect you. We did it for you, to try to right a wrong that separated us. Now my question far are we taking this journey? What am I to do? Keep fighting? Let it go and focus on our family instead? I am at a loss. I keep fighting, but I don't know how far to go, and how hard to push. Send me a sign? You are at the center of my reason for doing this. Trying really hard to keep my ego out of it. Help me.

Aaron has been developing an immune system this year, which has been really hard. I am kicking myself for saying before I got pregnant with him that I wanted a child who would prove to me over and over again how resilient he is after having lost you. Does he have to do it so often? Can we have some peace? The flu bugs weigh heavily on us. I think your dad and I both have heavy hearts over the symptoms that we didn’t see in you, to understand how sick you were. Now we have a child that gets flu bugs and seizures, ear tube surgery, and other things and we have laser-like focus on him terrified of what we are missing. He is one tough little soul you picked out for us, and he is amazing what he puts up with from us with all of our nervousness. Please, please keep watching over your brother and us too.

I have learned how angry I am at myself for your death. Ragefully ,sickeningly angry. It gets buried under a lot of layers, but it is there festering all the time. Please send peace and forgiveness to my soul because I am having a hell of time forgiving myself. At the point of three years in, it's place in my life starts to feel awfully permanent. Can this mountain be moved? Can you forgive me? Is that enough to ease the burden for me to forgive myself?  I really don't know.

Speaking of the long journey, I have been going back to grief group. I am in a group of parents that are years into their journey. It blows my mind to see parents that are 20+ years from the time that they lost their children. They are less heated over their loss, but they still grieve just the same. Oh my God, that will be me someday. This grief is a forever thing, isn't it? No matter any of this, I wouldn't trade your life for anything. I love you completely with all my heart, and I cherish your soul however it appears in my life. Thank you for being there. Thank you for loving us and watching over us. I promise to keep looking for you baby.

I miss you. Let me say that again...I MISS YOU. There is always a piece missing from everything we do because you are not there. I love you and think about you every day. It doesn’t matter how much time passes, what is going on in life, or what milestones pass us by, you are always loved and remembered every day. I hope you can feel that from us where you are.

I love you, and happy 3rd birthday sweet boy! What an amazing night that was when you entered the world. It is a moment I will never forget and cherish always!