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Saturday, November 3, 2012

After I finished my Friday run, I found myself standing at the garden for our missing children, in front of the beautiful Virgin Mary statue that Peter gave me for Mother's Day.  "Sometimes I feel like no one really remembers," I said through the tears.

It's not true; Peter remembers.  He always remembers, always thinks of them.  "No one" wasn't an accurate thought; I know others remember.  But my heart was sore.

My dad forgot.

My own dad.

He was visiting with us and we were discussing Thanksgiving and the day after, which is when we always trim our tree.  I make egg nog and turkey soup and we play Christmas carols while rearranging furniture and putting up our decoration.  It's a good time.  Whether there is a houseful or just us, it's fun.  I mentioned in passing, "This year, we'll have Alexander's birthday cake, too."  The 23rd is the day after Thanksgiving...  One day, his birthday will fall on Thanksgiving.  I'm not sure how my heart will handle that one.

"Who?"

There was a sharp intake of my breath; my heart began to crack.  I was glad that my back was to him.  "Your grandson.  Alexander."

"You mean B...?" He said, mentioning my nephew.

"No. I mean Alexander."  Did my shoulders start to hunch?  Could he hear that cracking sound?  Did it sound like trees outside instead of my heart crushing in on itself?

"I dont have a grandson named Alexander."

He seemed legitimately confused.  I walked over to the pictures that sat next to where he was and lifted the third one in sequence.  "Alexander," I said, softly.

He was quiet.

Maya was making pancakes and I wasn't up for the silence or for hearing my dad try to backpeddle.  I know it wasn't on purpose.  I know it wasnt mean spirited.  I dont have hard feelings, even as I'm typing. 

But it still hurt.  It still was a direct hit to my heart.

It was one of those reminders.  Everyone elses lives have gone own, even my own father's.  The last few years have been able to fade into the recesses of their memories.  They can look and see two children... But I can't.  I never will.  I don't want to, either.

This is par for the course, I suppose.  Part of me feels like I should be used to it, that my skin should be thicker, that I shouldn't care, that the fact that I remember them, that Peter does, that Bobby and Maya know their siblings- this should be enough.

But my heart is still heavy, even today.

Nicholas, Sophia, Alexander, Bobby, Maya.  They are my children.  All of them.  Not just the two that I snuggle on the couch or laugh with at the park.  Two daughters, not just the one who helps me cook in the kitchen; three sons, not just the one who runs laps with me around the track.  Defined by all of them, changed by all of them, mother to all of them.

It doesnt matter to everyone, I know that; but it matters to me.

5 comments:

Debby@Just Breathe said...

((HUGS))

sonja said...

I promise you that every single time you pop into my mind immediately I am flooded with an image of you and then every single one of your children springs to mind, too. Often Nicholas and Sophia especially spring to mind because they share names with two of mine so I say their names often. They are not forgotten. *hugs*

Queenie. . . said...

I'm so sorry. That sounds very painful. But perhaps what you are perceiving as "forgetting" is more a function of how others are dealing. Perhaps your dad was really hurt by their deaths, and tries not to remember because it's too painful. Perhaps people don't mention them because they wish to spare you further pain, or they just don't know what to say (as I often say, we are not a society that really deals with death well). I know it's hard on you, but just because they are not mentioned does not mean they are forgotten. Indeed, I looked up your marathon chip time and tried to find you during the marathon because I really wanted to cheer on the brave woman who mothered all of those babies. Chin up. They are NOT forgotten.

Amelia said...

It matters to me as well. THEY matter to me, as do my own.

Michele said...

Thank you, Ladies. Knowing that they are remembered does help the grief and pain. I know my dad meant nothing hurtful; I know that deep down. It still was a hurt, even though there are no hard feelings against him.

And Queenie- a HUGE thank you for cheering all of us at MCM. Knowing that you were there, cheering, even though we never may have made eye contact or met physically, makes me smile even now. All the cheering helped every racer cross the finish line :)