Sometimes I just don’t know what to say.
I’ve had nearly twenty months to prepare and yet I’m still not sure what to write. I’ve felt some self-imposed pressure to come up with the perfect words to describe what today means and how it feels; after all, I’ve been able to describe everything else fairly well, so why not this?
I’m rarely speechless (don’t laugh), but with this I am and I can’t explain why.
Today, December 22, marks the day that Isaiah and Caleb have now lived longer than Tori. My babies have now outlived my baby. They are 19 months and 28 days old today.
And I don’t know how to put words to what today means, perhaps because it’s simply not supposed to be this way and my mind doesn’t know how to process this. Our brains aren’t wired to lose a child, to outlive your baby.
I don’t even know what emotion I feel. It’s not grief, it’s not joy, it just…is.
I recently shared this dilemma with a new friend, and when she looked at me her eyes spoke volumes and I knew that she understood. She shared with me that she, at 28, has already outlived her mother (a woman who chose to allow her baby to live despite a rare and serious cancer diagnosis during pregnancy that would claim her life when this new friend was just eight months old). She told me that when that day came she didn’t know how to process it, that it was surreal.
She said that it’s not something anyone can understand unless they’ve lived it.
And I believe that. She also said that it’s okay to not say anything or to be able to put it into words, even for a writer. Her reassurance and understanding meant a great deal to me and relieved some of the pressure.
Our second and third children have now lived longer than our first, and it’s strange.
The day Tori went to Heaven (at nineteen months and twenty-seven days of age) she could barely breathe on her own. She could not swallow, move, communicate, play, talk, laugh, or smile. She was merely a shell of who she had once been.
Today, at nineteen months and twenty-eight days of age, the boys can walk/run, they can communicate with us (via sign and words). They have distinct personalities and interests and express their opinions. They can laugh – and make each other laugh – and play. They can eat by mouth and choose when to eat or drink. They are healthy, strong, growing little men.
If nothing else, today is a bittersweet reminder that this world is not our home, and I wouldn’t want it to be. Heaven will be more than worth the wait, and I will get to hold my Tori again.
This is not the most profound blog post I’ve ever written, but I didn’t want the day to go by without writing something. If I ever figure out how to adequately describe how this makes me feel, I will write again. But, for now, I will cherish my children and thank the Lord for all three of them. ❤