Wednesday, February 17, 2010
So, I made it through my mom's birthday. Actually, I was carried, Howard called in sick when he saw that I was just a little off and we took the kids to lunch. I breathed deeply and remembered to count my blessings not just my losses. I got a shower, and headed out for some bloodwork I had been putting off. I reminded myself that this life is not all there is, I held my head high, put on my big girl pants and did the "room mom" thing for Luke's Kindergarten Valentine's party, and all I could think of was that my most vivid memories of my own mom were of her in that very same place in that same role. The same school, many of the same teachers, the same events. It made me a little sad and also a little grateful. Grateful that my husband values my role as a stay at home mom and has made it a priority for our family. I GET to be a "room mom" and a "PTO mom" and because those are things I remember of my mom, I hope they are things Luke will remember also. I love the little school that Howard and I both attended and now our children will learn many lessons in. All in all, it was a pretty good day, despite the fact that my emotions ran a bit high.
I was claiming Victory over the first half of February, I made it through the first difficult date in one piece, that is until Valentine's Day hit. Now, I will be the first to tell you that we don't do much in our home for Valentine's day. I am not a fan. I think it is a cheesy holiday and we don't give it much thought aside from the fact that each year we take the kids on a date to Chuck E Cheese.
Typically our pilgrimage to Chuck E Cheese is delightful as we typically go at dinner time when all the adults are out and kids are with babysitters. For some stupid (don't tell my kids I said that word) reason we chose to go at lunch. UGH! EVERY. SINGLE. KID. in Erie County was there. It was ZOO for sure and was less than delightful. Kids were running everywhere it was chaos to say the least. Chaos makes me on edge as it is, but we figured we would make the best of it since we were there and leaving at this point would likely be more painful.
We got settled and met up with Howard's sister and her little guy and the kids started to play. As they were running, I asked them to pause for just a moment so I could snap a quick photo of all the cousins together on Hope's first Valentine's day. Then it hit. Like a tidal wave. I suddenly felt like I could not breathe. There through the tiny square on my camera I saw three boys and sweet Hope where there should have been five boys and Hope. I fought tears as best I could and sat down and shoved my face full of a slice of that stellar pizza. :) (I REALLY do love Chuck E Cheese pizza, weird I know).
When the tokens had been spent and the tickets had been redeemed I handed out the decorated red gift bags I had filled with small treats and toys for each child. Again, I found myself struggling to breathe. Two were missing. I couldn't help wonder what it would look like to see my four boys with their cousin. It would be a sight for sore eyes for sure. A six year old Luke, a four year old Andrew, a four year old Isaac, a three year old Ben, an almost two year old Asher and sweet baby Hope (yep, I am pretty sure she will ALWAYS be Baby Hope, and did I really have five babies in six years?).
It hit again once we got home and I took the photos of the kids on the couch, I again looked at the tiny square screen on my camera only to find two boys and a baby girl rather than four boys and a baby girl. I looked through that lens and saw only three of my five Valentines and my heart sunk. Their absence was so real. Between each of the kids, someone was missing and my broken heart ached to see five sweet children through that lens. That is not how our story was written though. This side of Heaven, two will always be missing.
Don't get me wrong, I count my blessings every day. I feel more than blessed to have held five sweet newborns, kissed each head, and breathed each one in. I know there are many women who desperately want children and may never have the opportunity to give birth to one let alone FIVE miracles. I know that and I am thankful, but it still hurts.
I have been doing this grief thing for quite some time now and honestly I never saw this coming. Valentine's day is not a holiday I expected to bring a fresh wave of grief and yet it did. I was sucker punched. That is the thing about grief. Sometimes you just don't see it coming and sometimes the anticipation of a date causes grief to remain at the surface for weeks. Asher's birthday is Monday, I expect that day and the days leading up to it to be tough, but Valentine's Day?? Really? A pretend holiday, made up by greeting card companies, candy companies and florists?
Posted by boltefamily at 9:41 AM