Thursday, February 01, 2007

Happy Birthday.

Dear Henry,
Tomorrow is your birthday. I really don't know what to say. Typically, birthdays mark another year of life for someone. For you, it marks a year since you were born and died.

I've missed you this year. My heart has broken many times over at the thought of all that I had dreamed for you and all that would never happen. I have looked at Sam, a little boy who was born a month after you should have been born and my heart aches and rejoices all at the same time. I see where you would have been had you lived. And I'm so happy for Sam because he is healthy and his parents love him. But I am so sad that you are not playing with Sam and experiencing life with him, as his mommy and I had planned.

I wonder how my life would have been if you had lived. Would I still be married to your dad? Would I be frustrated and tired because I would have another baby? Would I be getting a full night's sleep by now? Would your big brother be teaching you new things right now?

I know that I would not be having the baby that is growing inside of me right now. And my dear Henry, for as much as I love and miss you, I cannot imagine what my life would be like without this child that is growing inside of me, who will grace us with her presence in 16 days. I must thank you, thank God, for this gift of life that I am anxiously awaiting. It isn't fair that her life is at the expense of yours. I'll never understand that. I can't even begin to comprehend it. But there it is. There's nothing I can do about it. I can't make the choice to have you back, I can't make things any different than they are now. Sometimes that still makes me angry, my son. I want control so badly, I want to call all the shots. But I realize now, it's not always possible. And I've learned how to accept this.

When people ask me, "Is this your second child?" about this pregnancy, I hesitate. Because yes, she's my second living child. But I want to remember you. I want them to know that a piece of my heart is with you. And so I tell them that we had a son who was stillborn before this pregnancy.

I'm at peace with your birthday, Henry. That doesn't mean that I don't grieve for you, that I don't miss you. But I've come to accept what I cannot change. You live in mine and your dad's hearts. You will always be with us. Play a little with Grandpa Duck up there in Heaven, ok? Kiss him and tell him that your mommy misses him. Tell your Grandpa Tom that I wish I had gotten to meet him--- from all that I know, we would have gotten along like a house on fire. And I know that your big brother would want you to pet his cat, Lenny, for him.

My son, I love you.