February 7, 2015
My darling Jude. Since Wednesday, I’ve been preoccupied with the fact that in one week February 11 should be your birthday. I’ve thought about all of the things I was anticipating for this time. I would be getting ready to take a leave from work. I would be preparing to spend some precious time alone with your sister. Your father would be taking his last drill weekend just before your birth. How exciting that we would miss the charade of Valentine’s Day this year because we would be indulging in the greatest love of all –our love for our baby boy, for you, sweetheart. We were so looking forward to doing nothing more than pouring out our love for you and devoting our time to loving you.
Yes, that is what we should be doing. Today, on February 7th, your sister turned 20 months. I should be feeling bittersweet sentiments because Lillianne is about to share the limelight with another little family star, the one who would become her best friend, who would beat up anyone who would speak ill of her and the one she would fight like a tiger for. Mommy should know, for that’s how mommy and Uncle Adam were. That’s how Mommy thought you and Lillianne would be. Jude, I feel like Lillianne lost the best friend she should have had when you went to heaven.
In my mind, I’ve replaced should with would because faith knows that what should have happened is what happened. God took you home on December 26. That is your birthday, not February 11. It would have been your day. You would have shared a birthday with your Emie, your grandmother.
As the days pass since your actual birthday (December 26), I feel like things should get easier (of course, I feel ashamed for this). The opposite is true. As days pass and we get closer to your should and would date, I find that the weight of missing your is crushing my heart like a raisin. I feel like I’m being sat upon a little harder every day and it gets harder and harder to breathe. I want to scream and to be buried all at the same time. I want to be cradled and beaten to within an inch of my life all in the same emotion. I have no recourse for expressing what I’m feeling. I just know that I miss you, and I shouldn’t have to, but I do. I have to for reasons that I may never know, and I both feel and accept the unfairness of that all at once.
I’ve already realized how amazing you are, Jude. Without taking a breath on this Earth, your little life has touched more people on behalf of Jesus than I ever will. In the interest of being noble and virtuous, I’m glad that I could somehow be a part of that. You are, I believe, both my and your father’s salvation; however, what a sacrifice you were.
Before we lost you, I thought about the sacrifice that God made for us, giving up his son. I readily acknowledged that I could never deliberately be so selfless as to give up my son for the sake of all mankind. (Sorry, mankind.) I would want there to be another way, somehow, whatever that way might be. The only thought I had that possibly changed that notion would be for the thought of your children and your children’s children; however, if you were sacrificed like Jesus, then how could your children and children’s children exist, yes?
Those were my thoughts, and I’d forgotten them until now. Of course, now my only hope is that you accomplish all that I would have selfishly chosen not for you as I would have greedily wanted you all to myself. I still do. If I woke up tomorrow and this were all a nightmare, I would be so happy I would be beside myself.
I know it’s not a nightmare. I know it’s real. I know that every day, morning comes, and I’m just a fat and flat woman. I have no baby growing inside of me anymore. I know that God determined that I shouldn’t, which is why that as your would-be birthday approaches, I’m not thinking about what should be happening, at least not in a way that is unhealthy. I’m only thinking of you and that I love you and I miss you.
I don’t intend to spend either of our lives speculating about what could or should or would be had you been here because what could and should and would happen did happen. I can only miss you. I won’t exhaust my time on Earth speculating about the alternative. I do want you to know how much I miss you and how much I want to kiss you and hold you and nurture you. You’re my darling ‘son’shine, and you and your sister make me happy though these skies are grey.
You never know, dear, how much I love you, so don’t take my sunshine away.