May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Monday, March 11, 2013

Two Years Flies By When Mourning a Rosebud and Raising a Rose

Today is Eli's second birthday.  In my memory he was born just yesterday.  Memories are like snapshots frozen in time.  I remember getting to the hospital, just my husband and I wearing my "lucky birthing outfit" (I've been able to wear the same outfit to the hospital all six times I gave birth).  I remember waiting for everyone else to arrive.  I remember before going to the OR everyone waited to give me a hug one by one before they filed out and left us alone once again.  I remember the excitement of knowing in just moments I would meet my little boy.  I remember pure joy at hearing his cry and knowing he was alive.  I remember my very next thought was of his impending death.  I remember crying and smiling and smiling and crying as I stroked his cheeks and nose.  I remember the soft little cries he emitted.  I remember when those cries stopped and he became still.  I remember my cries when that happened.  I remember how Eli looked in my husband's arms.   I remember the wonder of his naked little body as we bathed and dressed him.  I remember every precious moment we spent as a family of five as I watched my daughters meet their brother and snuggle with him.  I remember the anguished cries of my older two girls as they sobbed uncontrollably when they had to say goodbye.  I remember how good it felt to take pictures because I knew how invaluable each one would become.  I remember the anguished cries as I had to say goodbye.  I remember the crushing  loneliness after he left us that evening.

I've wondered how it's possible to miss someone I didn't even know so much.  I have no real memories, no words to cling to, no stories to laugh or cry about, nothing but a few items of clothing, a clip of hair and many photographs and snippets of video.  But I did know him.  He was knit in my womb.  I knew him from the moment of creation.  My body recognized a tiny bundle of cells as a human being that needed special care and attention from that moment on.  I grew to understand his waking and sleepy times, his movements and even what sounds he liked.  I knew his spirit from within and I believe he steadied my spirit.

I miss you baby boy.  Every minute of every hour of these last two years.  Happy birthday.



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