Henry in October, days before we almost got discharged from his long hospitalization for the first time. He was so awake and alert and interactive this day. I remember his smiles and little noises and how intrigued he was with this little caterpillar. I had such hope and expectation for my boy.
All month, I have been wanting to just sit, to be quiet, to have time to think or the space to not think, and it hasn't happened. But today, I gave myself that gift. I took the day off from work. I didn't hop on the computer first thing in the morning as I usually do. I didn't plan or try to do anything. When Kathleen napped, I rested on the couch, remembering lying there with Henry on sticky summer days. I remembered how perfectly he fit on my chest, how our breathing would slow together. I remembered how as he got bigger, he wouldn't just lie there anymore. I smiled at the effort he made to raise his head, the only time he liked tummy time. I rested while I could with these memories, the peace of those moments settling with me briefly.
And when Kathleen got up, I played and I snuggled with the baby here with me. I smiled and I laughed with her. And I cried too. Cried in amazement and thanks for all she is and does. Cried with anger and sadness for all Henry never got to be and do. And yet he was and did so much. He is still so much; he's just not here.
Brian and I went to the cemetery, standing briefly, huddled together in the bitter cold and blinding sunlight on the icy snow covering his grave. There was nothing to do there but leave the little heart shaped wreath I brought, let sobs wrack through me, hug Brian tight, and nod that it was okay for us to go, get in the car, get out of the cold. I felt so much the need to go to the cemetery today, and yet there I felt helpless and didn't know what to do.
Tonight with dinner, I listened to his CD, filled with memories of sitting in the weeks before his surgery, tears streaming down my face, worried, worried, worried, despite what the song told me, worried that every little thing would not be alright. It's strange looking back on those fears. I was so anxious, and yet I never really imagined or believed that I might end up where I am.
But here we are.
I knew Henry had not been forgotten. I knew that Brian and I had been in people's minds and hearts during this dark month. Still, I have felt lonelier in my grief this month than ever before. But there were notes, emails, flowers, calls to let me know that truly we are remembered, Henry is remembered, and that we are all much loved.