One day each year for me is all about my first son, Wyatt. That day happens to be Sunday. It is a day with time spent remembering, reflecting and celebrating. We decorate cupcakes, one for each of us and one for Wyatt and we eat a meal at his grave site. Afterwards, we blow bubbles and release balloons to heaven. We always leave a small gift behind, my best guess at what a boy his age would like. We spend the entire day together. The days leading up to that day are always difficult, as any grieving parent knows. We never stop grieving.
For that one day though I allow myself to go back to that place I left long ago. I let myself feel the overwhelming loss that I normally tuck away inside. It is comforting to revisit that grief. To know that even though I don't feel it every day that it's still there. And sometimes I wonder about that because life becomes so normal. I saw his face for only a few hours one day of my life. I never got used to the sounds of his cries, never heard the sound of his laughter. There are no belongings of his for me to catch sight of or miss. He was here yet he wasn't. As his day approaches I find myself saddened to realize that I will probably miss him most. Each year for the rest of my life that day will be his, those things he wore and touched during his brief life will be mine. When I am gone, what then? I pray that my daughters will remember him, that they will treasure those things as I have done. But I know that I can hope for no more than that. Someday the memories will be forgotten and those treasures long packed away.
Eight years ago I gave birth to my first child, a son. He lived, was loved, and died. Happy Birthday sweet boy, take care of your little brother for us.