Today is another important birthday that I cannot let pass unmentioned. Willows, who died shortly after he was born, would be four years old today and he is so very sadly missed.
Just before Sophie's first birthday, I was running the monthly meeting for the support group I had started, and this woman walks in. She was about my age and, when she began to share her story, I realized how much we had in common. We talked a bit after the meeting and it turned out she lived only a few miles down the road from me. Within the month we were hanging out fairly regularly and it didn't take long for us to become very close friends. Her husband and my husband get along famously and her second child, a baby girl, is only two weeks younger than Evan. Our families love playing together, going on adventures together, and generally hanging out together.
Today, I got an email about how she was feeling with this being his birthday...and do you know what? She is sad, yes, that she doesn't hold her son in her arms today. She is missing him and what he would have been, of course. But what worries her the most is this: She writes, people are still remembering, but I'm afraid someday they won't and that's what gives me pangs of pain. And I want to shout out to the world, YES!!! THAT IS IT! Babylost parents learn to hold their pain close and carefully...with the passage of time. We all do it. But our biggest fear is that everyone else will forget. It happens slowly, over time. Year one, 10 people call and a bunch send cards. Year two, 5 call and three send a card. Year three, 5 cards...maybe. Year four? Yeah.... You get the idea. I threw a birthday party for Sophie this year--we invited as many friends as we could and had a big dinner and cake and ice cream. Why? Just because of this very fear. I can handle the idea that my baby died. I can handle the fact that she will never ride a bike or tease her baby brother. I can even handle (most days) the painful hole in our family that will never be filled. What I can't handle is that other people will forget her or forget what she is for our family. That part hurts more than all the rest. So yes, my dear, dear friend, I know exactly what you mean. And I'm here to tell you that whatever happens, wherever life takes us, I will always, always, remember Willows and all that he is to you and your family. I am so grateful to him for introducing us and May 15th will forever be his day. Happy Birthday, Willows!