Remembering...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Growing up, I always knew that my grandmother had lost children. It wasnt a secret but at the same time, it wasnt really talked about either. Every now and again, someone would mention something.

I've always been close to my maternal grandmother. Part of it was that I never felt "different" as an adopted child; she loved me just the same. We were close enough that we could joke about her having X and a half grandkids (with me the half). It was our private joke. And I think it is probably one of the things that shows, to me, how we felt (and still feel) about each other.

After Nicholas was born, Mamaw called me at least every other day to see how we were. She'd share something from the Bible that she'd read (she's read through it, completely, near 20 times and reads it every single day) or would give us citations to look up to help with our grief and our stress and fear for Sophia. But, it wasnt until then, until I'd lost a son too, that she shared with me the details of when she lost her son.

My mom has 2 younger sisters. She has 5 other siblings, though. Two babies were miscarried early, but her brother was born around 6 months gestation, on October 16th. In the mid-late 1960s. I dont know the year, only that he was inbetween my mom and my (oldest) aunt. They lived "in the country" near my grandfather's family. I wont share all the details but when my uncle was delivered early, he was never given to my grandmother but was whisked away and buried. She was told that he was dead, that it was better she never see him or hold him, and, in her grief, that she should try to get pregnant again and forget. But you never forget. Not a day goes by that you forget.

I remember being on the phone with her, as she shared with me how she felt back then as though it were that day. Those memories were clear and vivid. How she begged to see and hold her son. How she questioned "Are you sure?" over and over again. I remember questioning well after we knew our children had passed and had medical staff confirm it; I cant imagine being at home and never seeing the babies and having to take someone else's word for it. She was always told that yes, they were sure... But you still wonder.

There is no grave that marks where my uncle was laid to rest. No flowers bloom in his absence. There is no stone that lists his name or that he was so loved and is very missed. He is buried on the land that my great grandfather owned. And sometimes, when the wind hits the trees just right, you may be able to hear him whisper a cry that tells us he is okay and will see us again one day.

So today, as you remember your babies and mine, please remember hers. All three of them. But especially Christopher Michael on his birthday. She wont know you are remembering them in her conscience state, but her heart will know and, as she goes through today with a silent grief, that will be her comfort.

14 comments:

Leah said...

Wow. What a story. It's wonderful that you have your grandmother as a support system, but sad that you both have such sad events in your life. Thinking of you.

Jessica said...

Michele, what a story. Its amazing how comforting a grandmother can be during this time even if its just to share a story of her own loss. *hugs*

AKD said...

Thinking of you all - what a sad, beautiful story. Love to the memories of all of her children.

sonja said...

Remembering with you.

Just Breathe said...

Michele, that just breaks my heart.
I hold all of you up in prayer. I know that some things have changed through the years but I think that those words "get pregnant again, forget" haven't changed in the minds of so many today and that brings me deep sadness. Women around the world are still being comforted with those horrible words.

Bluebird said...

Brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful and strong woman. I'm so glad you have her.

Remembering with you. Always.

Heather said...

It breaks my heart to hear stories of women who lost their children in earlier decades and never got a chance to hold them. A very dear friend of mine has a brother and a sister in heaven. Both were born early (I think around 6 months) and her mother never got to hold or get a picture of either of them. When she found out about Madelyn my friend tells me she cried and cried, both for me and for her own sweet babies in heaven. I think what is really hard for her is knowing that if her babies had been born today, they would have had a good chance of being ok.

My heart goes out to your grandma.

Catherine W said...

How beautifully you write Michele and what a heartbreaking story. Remembering your grandmother's beautiful son. My candles will burn for Christopher Michael this evening. xo

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing about your uncle, we will definitely pray for your grandmother today. We are also praying for you and Peter, today, as you remember Sophia.
God bless and peace be with you and your family today :)

Missing Kasey said...

Thank you for sharing! Remembering all of our angles.

Lachlan's Mum said...

Oh, how hard that must have been for your grandmother. Remembering your uncle, and thinking of you, all of your sweet little ones, and your precious grandmother.

Donna said...

This made me cry. My grandmother shared a similar story after Ellie died. She had never told anyone until then. It's just so sad to think of never having the chamce to hold your child.

Aunt Judy said...

Thanks Michele for remembering Chris in your thoughts. I think of him often. I actually wanted to name Brandon, Michael Brandon, but Jimmy wouldn't let me. Chris was 42I think, yesterday. Your mom was a couple of years old when mom got pregnant with him. He is 2 yrs. older than me. I am still praying for all of you. I hope I get to see them soon. Love you all!

Tanika said...

Very touching story. We remember!