I am one week away from my due date. I can remember way back in November, taking the pregnancy tests and not being able to fathom the fact that there was a child inside of me. We were stunned, but happy. I can remember sitting down and calculating the due date at babycenter.com, the date July 20th, 2008 popped up. I took that date as a sign to call my Mom and tell her our exciting news because her birthday is July 20th.
It was a very exciting phone call.
I have always loved my Mom's birthday, I love taking pictures and watching her take in the faces singing to her, enjoying the song as if it's the most beautiful song she has ever heard, even though it doesn't sound very good at all. On her birthdays, however, I often wonder how painful it must be to not be surrounded by all of her children, who are spread all over the country and sometimes, the world. I wonder if she's thinking about her Mom, who is no longer with us.
For 30 years, July 20th was a day of celebration for me. A celebration of my mother, her life, the person she is and all that she has brought into the world.
This year I fear July 20th. FEAR. I woke up today, feeling light and free and wide awake after a night out with friends and blogging buddies, Brian in North Carolina, the kids in their beds.
But then I broke. My bravery, my strength, my walls came crashing down. I am so sad, I am filled with grief, pain, despair, anger, and guilt.
Guilt, because this year, on July 20th, this day won't just be about my Mom. This day will be about what is not in my arms, in our home, in our family. Our hopes, our dreams, our faith - GONE.
I had planned to pretend that this year would be like every other. But then I see the cross that holds their ashes, I see pictures of me while pregnant on my computer, a tiny baby sitting in her mother's arms, right next to me while trying to be social and strong, and I can no longer pretend.
At every moment, I am aware of this date, drawing near.
I need your prayers and thoughts this week. I feel so badly asking you for this, but I need to feel you surrounding me. I want to run away from those quiet moments of grief, outside watering my flowers, during my showers, alone in my bed. Those quiet moments that remind me of what we do not have. OUR boys. OUR sons. Our beautiful James Thomas and Jake David.
Do they know how much I love them? Do they know I would give anything to be their Mommy, here on earth? To stay up late at night with them, to comfort them when they cry, to hold them to bring them comfort? DO THEY KNOW THIS?
It is more than I can bear. I have always said, long before even losing James and Jake "I can handle whatever is given to me." But now, I fear, I was wrong all along.