I am participating in Carly Marie’s Capture Your Grief project, but I’ll admit it – while I want to participate daily, I just don’t know if I have the time or the memory; I’ll do what I can.
Today (or yesterday, depending on your time zone)’s prompt is Heart. I hand drew my heart, with Anderson filling the space inside. I love that the poem to accompany the prompt is e.e. cummings’, as this is actually the poem I gave to another babyloss mama last Mother’s Day. The final piece of the prompt is the hardest for me, as it asks us to write about our hopes and dreams for our children. I try not to think of the would-have-beens. And honestly, while mothers in my grief group last night were sharing things like “my daughter was going to come to my weekly mani/pedi appointments with me” and “I was going to nickname my twins Zig and Zag and dress them like the Peanuts characters for Halloween,” I hadn’t gotten that far. I only ever wished to know what my son would be like, what he would be interested in. What sport he would choose, which instrument to play, which foods he enjoyed. I never had dreams of what I would want or expect him to do (well, except take gymnastics for a few years, because I think it gives children a good foundation for body awareness and gross motor skills). All I wanted was to get to know him.
Fortunately, I had 26 days to get to know him in his isolette, which isn’t the best way, but is something. I know he liked to kick, and to sleep with his hands folded under his chin. I know that when on his belly, he would turn his head to look at the nurses. We thought he might be a good soccer player, or – as he was long – maybe a swimmer (though K was not a fan of the idea of a lifetime of swim meets. Boooooring!). But when your child is in the NICU, you don’t really allow yourself the luxury of dreaming of the future. We wanted to take him hiking and camping someday. That’s about as far as we got.
Now, I carry him in my heart. He has his own space there, and always will.