Monday, September 1, 2014

Inside the mind of child loss.

Tomorrow is a special day for us. 
Eli will turn eight. 
Eight years since our long awaited son would enter this world.
Eight years since Emma became a big sister,
Eight years since I walked into that hospital with my baby boy, and

For seven years since, we have made traditions on his day, just like we do for our other einsteins. We release balloons, we sing Happy Birthday, we celebrate that he is with God, and we are one year closer to seeing him again. We do something fun, as a family, and we count our beautiful blessings. 
But, there are traditions that I do all on my own, too. 

I go to the balloon store to pick up his balloons. I try not to cry. I really do. But every year, I tear up at those bright colored balloons, all rainbowy and happy, and I wonder if I would be buying Ninja Turtles plates and cups this year. Or Batman. Or Star Wars. I wonder if I would be able to find his name in those name candles and hubby & I would be running around like crazy people trying to find a lighter to light them with before the song ended. I wonder if he would be getting cards in the mail or text messages saying "Happy Bday, little man! 8 is GREAT!". I wonder what kind of cupcakes I would be sending to school that day for his class. 
I wonder if he would have his daddy's smile.
If his eyes would show every emotion inside like his little brothers do.
If he would have his sister's giggle.
Or my tounge roll. 

And every year, that balloon lady smiles at me and tells me to keep my money.
That these are a gift for his birthday, and that she knows he will love them.

{and the little boy rushes home with the christmas shoes...}

and every year, I go to Starbucks and get the first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year. And when the barista asks me my name, I reply "Eli". Maybe it's just to hear his name in a world that he isn't. Maybe it's just to hear his name called out by someone, somewhere, that lets me know he's not forgotten. He's not dead. Maybe it's just to see his little name scribbled carelessly on a cup by a person who doesn't know. Who doesn't give me that look. Who would write that name that very same way if Eli had been here with me, standing, waiting for his fall in a cup with his mom. Maybe I'm just plain crazy. And that's okay, too. I can go crazy once a year, right? ;)

And then I head home to my quiet, empty house. Hubby has already pulled the fall boxes out of the attic for me, and they await this day every year. Fall makes me happy, and this is always the day he lets me "launch" fall all over the house, like the forest and the great pumpkin threw up one big heapin' pile of cinnamon scents and pumpkins and scarecrows. I put on my playlist of all the songs that remind me of him, of us, of our life before we knew what it felt like to be kicked to the ground and not able to get up. 

And I drink that latte, and I place the pumpkins just right on the mantle, and I talk to Him and Eli all. day. long. 

And by the time school is over, the day's magic is worked, and I scuttle down to gather my kiddos and hubby and we talk over dinner about everything and anything and head out to deliver our birthday messages on the winds, tied to a rainbow of balloons.
And they see their momma happy. Which is how it should be.

But this year, it's different.
I'll be working. I agreed to trade days with another teacher because she has a funeral to attend. We have to pick up the fair crafts tomorrow right after school, and Evan has soccer tryouts that evening.
I thought I would be okay, but this whole weekend has had me more and more nervous. 

Am I going to have time to pick up balloons? My latte?
Will I get to vomit fall all over the house?

I'm a creature of habit and YES. It's a big deal to me.
NO, it's not something I can celebrate another day.
THIS is his day. NOT the day before, not the day after.

My tummy hurts.
But I can do this.
It'll work out.

Just whisper a little prayer for me.
I'm gonna need it!

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  1. LOVE this post! My daughter Caroline was born and passed on October 15. Each year I "celebrate" by going to Hobby Lobby and picking out girl Christmas ornaments for her special tree. It's the one luxury that I allow myself (and by that I mean getting ready for Christmas too early :) ). I try and pick out what she would like for how old she would be. She would have been 3 last year so she got ballet slipper ornaments. This year will be 4 :( and maybe she'll get Barbie. I really have no idea what I'm doing when I get there as I'm busy raising her 3 BROTHERS! and I have zero idea as to what little girls like :).

  2. I've been reading for a long time but I haven't commented. I thought you should know how much you and your family touch others lives today. My brother passed over 12 years ago and I know the sting of missing someone you love and the what if's, even if it's different. Today is actually his birthday :) Tomorrow I will join you for my first Pumpkin spice latte of the season (my fav too) in honor of Eli. Hugs

  3. My heart aches for you. We suffered several miscarriages before we had our little boy Tucker. Virtual hugs and solid Prayers sent your way on this day.


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