Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy 4th birthday Noah!

Dear Noah,

It’s 9:30pm, and I am exhausted after a long week, but what can I say? You are on my mind. The fact that another year has passed and it is time to write you another letter just hit me like a ton of bricks, and I found myself with the words to say to you here on the anniversary of one of the very best days of my life: the day I became your mother for real. I feel like I say it every year sweet boy, but it is still true. I think about you all the time, and love you, love you, love you.

Last year was so hard on your birthday. Our side of town was on fire, and Dad, Aaron and I had to pack up in a hurry and leave. My heart wanted nothing more than to focus on you, but got clouded with the fear and anxiety of a rapidly spreading forest fire. It made for lots of regretful feelings, as well as feeling like I “didn’t get it done” when it came to grieving you like I needed to last year. It was hard. But, I am so grateful that our lives were only disrupted for a week, and that we got to come home, to YOUR home, the one YOU lived in, and somehow or another the year passed, and life moved on for us.

This year, I want to do it right. It is a heck of an anniversary, such a profound time of remembering the incredible highs and lows of experiencing birth and death in less than a week. It is a lot to remember.

You helped orchestrate some incredible things this year. Somehow or another I found myself in Washington DC in front of a scary group of people, holding up your picture and telling them about you, and how you never should have died. Urging them to have care for other babies to come that will be born with an illness like yours. I don’t think they listened. Or if they did, they haven’t done anything. I had to do it for you, to try at least. I had to help your brief life to not be lived in vain, and I think that this is your life’s purpose. As your mother, I want to help you in that so badly. I know we can work together to find a creative way to get there. I am willing love. I will keep my eyes and ears open for where you want me to go next. You are one of my favorite topics of conversation and I will go to any lengths necessary to tell your story.

Aaron is growing so big. I am proud to say that he knows who is brother is. He looks at your pictures and says your name and calls you his brother. He has been my snuggle bug and has filled my arms since you left. Now, he is such a big boy and wants to run off and be independent. It is lonely having those empty arms again. I know that if you were here, you would be doing the same, as you should. It is a natural part of life. But, in my mind you are the four day old infant that I couldn’t put down. It is hard. I miss you, and I miss that feeling.

It is exhausting, living life with a perpetual broken heart from losing you, always having to keep pushing forward, to be a good sport, to swallow it down so I don't make others uncomfortable, to try to act normal when a giant piece of me is missing. This has been a hard season of remembrance. Everything feels like it is pushing me just a little too hard. The fact is that life goes on, and somehow I have to keep fighting to move on with it. You are just not so easy to get over my love.

It is hard to imagine that I have a four year old, and crazier still to think of what life would be like if you were here. Thank you for coming to us, and being our son. We love you more than you can imagine. Happy birthday sweetie.


Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Videotape

It’s June. For most that means the start of summer. Warm temperatures that finally let you be outside after a long winter (especially for those of us that live in Colorado). For me, it is the anniversary of one of the very worst experiences of my life, one that will haunt me forever. I try to get into the hope and renewal that comes from early summer, but in the midst of it, the videotape in my mind starts up again, set to repeat, walking me through that night. The night. The night that I had to sit helplessly by in an emergency room, watching my son slip slowly and surely away from me. It hits me without warning. Parts of it that I don’t want to remember. I can’t help it. It’s just there, throwing me through a loop and rattling my senses. I know from other parents that have done this longer than me that the video will eventually play itself out as years pass, but it takes a while. I am four years in, and it still goes. Without warning, my heart, mind and body know what time of year it is, and it starts back up again. I don’t have to look at a calendar. Somehow, inherently I know. I am raw, short-tempered, and anxious. I have to work harder to take care of myself and use the tools that I have learned over the years. I am fighting to stay on top of what I need to get through. I just miss him. Terribly. I wish my life were different. I wish I didn’t have to experience these flashbacks at random times constantly. Trying to hang on and just get through this month.