Wednesday, June 16, 2010
As time goes on with Emma and Connor
A few nights ago on T.V. I saw a commercial posing the question of what is the thing you are most proud of your father for? As I laid in bed thinking of the many things I am so proud of my dad for I could have made a mile long list. I am proud of him for the wonderful dad he is, the amazing Papa he is, the supportive loving husband he is. I am proud that he is a cancer survivor and a Vietnam Veteran. I am proud to say he was always my soccer coach, my biggest fan and a dad to all of my friends. He has always been someone I can be proud of.. The one thing that stuck out to me though, as my proudest moment, was a moment I never could have imagined we would share. In 1978 my parents lost their only son, my brother Mikey. He was almost 2 years old and passed away on Labor Day weekend. My father held his son's lifeless body as he told him good bye. Who would have ever known that the courage he showed over 30 years later would not only bring us closer, but be my proudest moment. When we found out Connor had Anencephaly we knew he would probably be born still. On the day he was born, he was born sleeping. My dad did not plan on holding him , knowing the feeling of holding his own son that way. As Connor was passed to our loved ones to be able to hold and see him, my mom took Dad aside and reminded him this would be the only time he would ever be able to hold his grandson. As Dad took Connor from my arms I could see the pain in his face. Having now held not only his lifeless son, but his youngest grandson as well. How cruel a twist of fate to put my parents in this situation, so similar, yet so drastically different. I have never been so proud of my Dad as I was at that moment. He put his fear, his anger and his sadness aside. He has probably never realized the magnitude that moment had on me. To see my dad hold and love Connor. To see the tears stream down his face and remind me of all they have been through. And most of all to be able to share something so special with someone I admire so much. I am so thankful to have been blessed with such amazing parents.
Anna and I were sitting at the computer looking at pictures of Connor. I asked her if she remembered him and she said yes. She pointed to all of the people in the pictures and talked about them holding him. She said that we looked sad and that Connor was cute. When we came to the pictures with her she pointed to herself and her "big sister shirt". She came to the one of her touching Connor's hand and I asked her who's hand it was. She said " That is my hand with Connor, I touched an Angel ". She may only be 4, but she is wise and compassionate beyond her years.
There I stood, tears streaming down my face, in the middle of Kroger's. As I stared at the balloon rack for minutes that seemed like hours I couldn't stop myself. I spun the rack around time after time, just praying that something would jump out at me. I saw Thomas for Wyatt, Littlest Pets for Anna, and nothing for you. How do I know what you would like? You would be 2. So being a girl you would certainly have a preference, so how is it as your Mom I don't know what that is? The tears were partly from sadness, partly from anger and mostly from realizing all over again how much I am missing with you. I picked up pink tulips and turned back to the balloon rack, at which point a nice woman working there asked if I was okay. I wiped the tears away and said yes and smiled. At that point I chose My little pony, because Anna likes them, Dora, because Wyatt likes her, and Abby Cadabby, because who doesn't like her? I took my choices to the register and told the woman about you. That helped a little to say your name and that you would be 2. Then we went to the cemetery. On the way Anna asked if we were “going to Emma's party”, I guess it is something like that. We sang to you from the car as the rain pelted the soggy ground outside. So fitting for your birthday, the same weather we had on the day of your funeral. Daddy and I got out to take your balloons and kiss your headstone. So many thoughts about who you might be today going through our heads. Two years old. Two years in Heaven. Two years without you here, but two years of loving you. Happy Birthday Baby Girl.
this was then written a few days later...
Maybe I know more than I realize about my babies in Heaven. I went to the cemetery today to take a few new things and clear out some of the old. I noticed the balloons we took for Emma had lost most of their air, so decided to take them down the road and throw them away. I put them in the can and turned back towards the car. Just then a big gust of wind blew and the Abby Cadabby balloon blew out of the garbage can and followed me up the street. Maybe this was Emma's way of telling me she did like Abby Cadabby. Either way it made me smile.
I have this bag of clothes I have been driving around with in my car. I can't seem to bring myself to do anything with them. I was going to donate them, sell them at the second hand store....but there they sit. New with the tags every one of them in a bag in the back of my van. I guess I am realizing that as much as I may think I want to get rid of them, maybe I can't. This bag is filled with the past 2 years of my life. The hope, the joy, the tears and the heartache. There are outfits that I bought and that were given to me with the intent of being covered in spit up and drool like all little clothes should be. I bought a few sleepers on clearance when I found out I was pregnant 2 years ago....then I had my miscarriage. I still had hope for a baby, so I thought I will just keep these in the spare closet for now. When I was pregnant with Emma I bought a few more things, I even bought matching x-mas dresses for Anna and the baby to wear....not knowing if it was a girl or a boy, I bought holiday clothes, sleepers and mom gave me a blanket. Then we lost Emma. The closet made me so sad, but still maybe someday I thought. When I was pregnant with Connor we bought a few things. By the time we had him my closet was so full....bargain hunting and holiday Clearance shopping after 2 years of pregnancies will do that. When we got Dillon I thought I can finally have someone to wear this!! I had a few of the outfits that would have fit him perfectly...even matching Jammies intended for Connor and Anna would have worked. But, with everything that happened that won't be. I sent a few things from the closet with Dillon. Mostly though, I am just driving around with them in my car. When I took my bag of brand new items to Once Upon a Child I was a bit nervous, but thought at least I could get some money. When they offered me $23 I told her she was nuts and took my stuff and cried. It was then I realized that it isn't the money she offered, it is the fact that even thinking of getting rid of these things is so much more than that. I told my mom about it and being the woman who after 23 years still has my Grandma's purse with her crumpled up tissues in it, she told me to save it. So what if it sits in my basement forever...so what if I never take a tag off of any of those things in my bag. I spent 2 years of my life filling that closet with hopes and dreams of a new baby. There isn't much to hold onto of my babies, so if I drive around for the next 5 years with a bag full of clothes maybe it will remind me that what I have been through has made me the wife, the daughter, the friend and most importantly the mom that I am today.