June 1, 2012

Right Where I Am: Almost Two Years

One year, 11 months, and three days to be exact. That's how long it's been since my son, my first child, died and was born. I jumped on board this project little late last year, a project in which you document right where you are in your grief. My post last year still holds true today. Finley was only weeks old when I wrote that and in this last year, while I have loved getting to see that sweet and adventurous boy grow and develop, it has shown me first hand what we have missed out on, what Cale has missed out on. I wrote about how my grief has changed, but was still a part of my life. And that will never change.

Reading through some other blogs from people who have written about their grief recently makes me feel like I'm cheating in a way. I read these thoughts and feelings and realizations and I have some of the exact ones myself. So I read and think "oh, I should write about that too" and really this may come across as a compilations of how so many others who have lost a baby feel, but that's because the common thread that I'm seeing throughout all these blogs is that no matter how much time has elapsed since we met and said goodbye to our children, no matter how many other children we have been blessed with since, it doesn't change the fact that we miss the ones who are not here. We love them. We ache for them. And that's right where we will always be.

With the upcoming move and upcoming birthdays there is a lot going on in our lives. I have a son who is about to turn one and I am so sad (but thankful) that my baby is growing up. But I also have a son who should be turning two and I'm so sad that my baby is not here. This last year has reinforced what I suspected early on, that I will always yearn for the milestones that Cale never reached. Shortly after losing Cale, a man approached my mom at her church in Arizona and told her that he and his wife lost a daughter who would have been 50 years old. He told my mom that he thinks about her every day. And I suppose that's just how it is. Our children become a part of our lives in a unique way, but they are still there. Even 50 years later. I have been able to have this beautiful and at times fun and happy life in the short time since losing Cale, but he is always on my mind. I guess that is the biggest change from last year - that I have been able to figure out a way for him to be woven into our story and become a part of our daily lives without actually being in them. And maybe I didn't even figure that out so much as it just happened.

I recently got an email from a girl I went to school with and in it she said, "When I think of Cale, I think of possibility.  It's both sad and optimistic at the same time.  Obviously those possibilities that he will not be able to realize because he left too soon, but also the possibilities that will come because he did live.  Cale gave you Finley.  What an incredible gift, full of possibilities.  He gave you motherhood and let you know that indescribable love for the first time.  He makes me see the world for all of its possibilities."

It kind of amazes me to think of all these lives that Cale has touched and words like that give me hope that his life will continue to reach others and help me reach out in return. It's wonderful to think of possibilities because of him. So I'm almost two years out from the most heartbreaking day of my life. But so much has transpired in those two years. While I've been in contact with lots of other people and stories that involve heartache and tragedy, in two years I have seen so much hope and love and unending possibilities . . . all because of my beautiful son Cale. And whereas I worried more a year ago about him being forgotten or how to incorporate him into our lives, I've gained more confidence this past year of how to do that and confidence in the fact that he won't be forgotten. It may not be what we had planned, but...

 
 

13 comments:

  1. I remember meeting Cale, it was the first time I met you! Circumstances were weird and I have to say although I didn't talk to you much I had a better time and connection with you then the person I came with!
    I remember how cute you looked and how I was excited for you!
    Cale left his lil imprint on my heart that day and it will always be there.
    I didn't really know you still but you have taught me alot on your journey and I know that I will still be able to glean from you.
    I love how you honor Cale, think of him, love on him and just talk about him. I love doing the same about Ben. Yes he is with me but you know how it is...it reminds me to still honor him as my husband, advocate for him, fight for him, love him, talk about him!
    Sweet lil Finn isn't missing out on that either! If anything he's getting double! Such a sweet lil man, party hair and all!

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  2. That email from your friend is just beautiful. Our firstborn babies continue to bring many possibilities into our lives. So many gifts from their sweet short lives. It is amazing to think of all they have accomplished. Always wishing they were in our arms today, but forever grateful to have had them for the time we did. Beautiful post xxxooo

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  3. I am so glad you are able to integrate remembering Cale into your life as you go forward. I am slowly learning how to do this in my own life. I too try to focus on love, hope and possibility. I know this is what my daughter would want.

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  4. That is a beautiful quote, very true.

    I loved what your friend wrote to you about the possibilities that Cale brought with him I've never really thought of it in that way before. I also lost my first born and yes, our children bring us the gift of motherhood and the love that goes with that. What an amazing gift indeed.

    It is strange and wonderful isn't it, how they are so much a part of us and our family without actually being physically present. Your description of how Cale is woven into your story is just so perfect.

    Thinking of you as you prepare to mark the birthday of both of your sons, Cale and Finley. Thank you for your post.

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  5. The quote is certainly beautiful. And you're right, there is a common thread running through all of the posts - no matter where we are or how long it has been, we miss them and we want them back.
    Thinking of you as birthdays draw near. What gorgeous names you gave your sons. Missing Cale with you.
    xo

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  6. Just beautiful.

    He has touched so many...and as hard as it will be to leave in a few weeks, just think of all the lives yet to be touched by sweet Cale wherever you go in the future. So many possibilities, for sure.

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  7. I like what you said about gaining confidence in not worrying about him being forgotten anymore.. That you know he won't- how true.

    Thinking of you as the birthdays approach.

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  8. What a beautiful e-mail from your friend. I love that-Cale inspiring a world of possibilities.

    I hope that as their birthdays get closer you are able to have some peace. I know your sweet boy is looking down on you all with so much love!

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  9. What a lovely letter from your friend. It matters so much when people acknowledge them. Goodness, how it does. Thank you for writing. I know what you mean about compiling thoughts of others too :)

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  10. I have always loved that last quote - so true. My friend sent me a message once after my first two babies left me. She told me that many people lose children (especially miscarriages like my case) and choose to forget them , ignore that they happened. She said that God gave me my babies because He knew I would NEVER forget them and would always love them. That was so very touching to me. Also without them my rainbow would have never been born, or any child for that matter. I have three angels: Riley, Peyton, and Cameron (who is my rainbow's twin) and one rainbow baby, Logan. I thank God for him every day but I also miss my other babies so much and see all that I have and will miss out on with them. Thank you for sharing - much love to you as you carry on through this journey... <3

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  11. I love the way you can continue to incorporate Cale into your life, not just as a memory but as an ongoing presence. I hate that you are missing him though.

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  12. That common thread, oh yes. I love the story of the man who talked to your mom at church - for some reason it's so important to hear that he has been thinking about his baby girl every day for over 50 years. It's sad and also really lovely, because we don't forget, and we don't stop missing them, even when others around us don't know their names. So much love to you and to both of your boys.

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  13. I'm sorry I missed your entry last year - I tried very hard to read them all but I think I missed a few of the later ones. I have read it now - better late than never :)

    What a lovely email from your friend - there is something precious when someone from outside the babyloss community "gets it" like that and shines a light on our experiences. And I love the Campbell quote too - although it's not easy to do, the letting go. I find I let go and then pick up the old life and than have to let go all over again - I suppose that is what grief is.

    I am sorry your precious firstborn son, Cale, is not with you but glad that you have all the possibilities that Finley brings you.

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