Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's the time of year. Maybe it's just me.
We remember Nicholas every day. We light his candle every night. We say goodnight to him on our way up the stairs. The kids blow kisses to the sky. I create Angel Wings in his memory and continually work on the Comfort Boxes for the hospitals. We say his name often. He is included in our family pictures. His Nana and Papa hold him close to their hearts and his Aunt, Uncle and cousins lovingly remember him as "Rocky". He has allowed us to connect with other bereaved families and has given us the strength to offer comfort and support in their journey. He is such an integral part of our every day life...
Then October rears it's ugly head and I feel unravelled. I succumb to the grief. The ugliest memories become much more vivid again. I can smell him with every breath... I can feel his every kick. The guilt begins to eat at me. I remember, in no uncertain terms, that my body failed me when my baby needed me most. How does a Mother do that? Deprive her own child of the necessities of life? I feel rotten. I feel useless as a mom. I feel broken all over again. The fatigue is overwhelming and my mind won't stop racing. My heart is shattered.... especially in that special place that Nicholas resides. The flashbacks are intense... his beautiful, little face so real.
The memory of carrying him that last week before we met him. The horrid knowledge of knowing our sweet boy's fate. The blessed day we held him in our arms. The cuddles, the kisses......... the goodbyes. My primal wail as the nurse carried him out the door for the last time. Wanting desperately to sneak to the "quiet room" for one more glimpse... one more butterfly kiss. Shivering from exhaustion and tremendous shock the entire night. Leaving with empty arms. Facing our family.... our other kids.... falling into my parents arms.
I remember working feverishly on a Memorial for Nicholas. Diving my hands, my mind into something tangible.... something to remember our son. I so desperately wanted everyone to know him. To understand that he was alive.... and then he died. Nicholas mattered. Nicholas does matter. He is one of us and I am incredibly protective of his memory. I remember barely getting through the day... welcoming family and friends into our home. Introducing them to Nicholas..... his memory.
I remember the day we had to go the the funeral home. I wasn't going to see him again, but instinct called me to him.... collapsing beside his tiny, white bed where he lay. I could barely see him through the constant stream of tears, eyes bloodshot and so very tired. I saw him, I touched him, I told him how sorry I was.... how much I love him. And then, somehow, we left... and I envisioned his beautiful body being placed in a fire. Igniting my son. My son. Letting him become ashes with a beautiful blanket and hand picked outfit from Nana..... ashes.
A week later my husband called me from the driveway. He had picked up Nicholas. He wanted us to both "walk" him home..... Another moment straight from Hell. I went to him. It was cold... snowing... dark. We walked with him bundled in a green velour bag to the home where he should have been sleeping in his cradle. To the home that so desperately wanted him... alive and well.
Nicholas now resides proudly on the mantel with his picture and footprints. Beside his brothers and sister.... just exactly where he belongs.
These next few weeks are going to be tough. Just before Halloween we were sentenced to this nasty journey. Halloween day we confirmed it with an MRI.....
I am thankful to have the Lantern Release to look forward to. I am certain it will be a magical, moving evening full of love and inspiration. One to remember for many years to come.
I am also incredibly thankful for our other children. They are our source of joy and light in these rough days.
I thank so many for all the love, support, understanding and comfort that it shown to us every single day. Couldn't do it without you.