Tomorrow is your due date; I instinctively suspected we wouldn’t make it that far once we first got the news. It’s the date I recited before each weekly ultrasound, echoing with familiarity as I watched your fluid levels drop with each measurement. It’s the date I circled in my planner, back before we knew, which feels like a different lifetime. It’s the date I told strangers in the grocery check out line. It’s the date we didn’t make it to.
But it wasn’t a failure. We didn’t miss the mark. October 26th simply wasn’t your actual due date; it wasn’t custom-fit to you. You were the rarest of the rare.
Before you were even formed, this road was mapped out for us. You and me, you and us, we couldn’t be together here. And wounds reopen daily when I notice the paradoxical state of our existence right now.
We are apart, but forever linked.
Healing, but still broken.
Mad, but not bitter.
Sad, but not hopeless.
Joyful, but not fine.
Loved, and never lost.
As the weight of empty arms get stronger, the numbness protects me so I can function each day. Sadness seasoned by time hurts more than when it is fresh because there is an added to grief layer that comes from missing you. It’s been too long since I held you.
Tomorrow will be a day that will start like today. I’ll get up, I’ll get your sisters dressed, someone will complain about breakfast, we will be five minutes late to wherever we are going. But tomorrow will be different too: it’ll be the actual date that I recited over and over with hope-laced caution.
And after tomorrow, we will be past that date that really was never for you. After tomorrow, I’ll be moving into the year past when you should have been here. It’s a watershed day. The story of what was dances in tandem with the dreams of what was never.
I know you are well, sweet boy. I know you are dancing, running, leaping, soaring. I miss you, I love you, and I will never forget you.
Despite the deck being infinitely stacked against you, you came anyway. You are forever a miracle. Held for a moment, loved for a lifetime. Sweetly silent, you spoke volumes.
For you, I am thankful.