Sunday, August 22, 2010

Family Reunion

Dear Jacob,
Your Dad and I have been pretty busy lately, but you have never left my thoughts. Last Sunday, August 15, there was a family reunion on my Mom's side near Kingston, ON. Before the reunion, there were some emails going around about the planning. One of my Mom's cousins, Margie, was working on a family tree and she emailed my parents to get information about our husbands. They were at the cottage, so I replied with the information and asked that you be added to the family tree as well. She wrote back and said how sorry she was that we lost you, which I liked of course. I saw another email from her (that she sent to everyone) and she wrote that her son and her daughter-in-law wouldn't be able to make it. She also mentioned that they are expecting in October. I'm so glad they couldn't come. How could I have gone if she had been there, seeing how big she was, how big I should have been too? How her dreams were still alive and mine died on May 31st? I don't think I would have been able to go to the reunion. I would have felt bad missing it, but it would have just been too painful. I was a little worried that they would be able to make it afterall, but they didn't so that was a relief. 
As we were driving to Kingston, your Dad and I were talking about where I should get a tattoo of your name (my right shoulder blade or my left ankle – the left one because that was the leg that would have caused you some problems). Your Dad said I should get it on my ankle because then I can see it. I like my ankle for that reason and for the symbolism. I asked if he looks at his a lot and he said that he looks at it all the time. Sometimes he sits there and just rubs it and thinks about you. I wanted to cry when he said that, but I held back because I wanted him to keep talking. I thought it was so sweet that he has several moments everyday when he looks at it or rubs it and thinks of you. 
Margie put the family tree on some charts and taped them to a table. She saw me and pointed out where your name was. It was nice to hear her say your name and it was so nice to see it on the family tree. As everyone was looking at it, I wondered how many people were noticing you and noticing that your date of birth and date of death were the same. Would anyone come up and say anything to me or your Dad? 
They didn't. 
My Mom was talking to a few of her other cousins and I was there when she told Debbie that you died. Debbie said how sorry she was and we ended up talking about you and other related topics for about 20 minutes. She said she has had 2 miscarriages, but that she was nowhere near 5 months (which I was happy that she acknowledged that). I briefly told her how it happened and she asked if I had to deliver you and how and I said it was a regular delivery and that we held you for several hours. She has 4 kids, the last one came after the 2 miscarriages and we talked about their births and she said that the next one will be fine and stuff. She said that after I pass the 5 month mark with my next baby, it will be a huge hurdle for me and I’ll probably feel a lot better. That is true, and I said that I would be relieved, but I won’t be at peace really until I have a living baby in my arms because I’ve met so many women who have lost their babies right up until delivery and shortly after. She said that they can take the baby earlier though and everything would be fine because the baby could live. I didn’t bother saying that the baby could easily die before the doctor’s know there is even a problem……
As we were saying goodbye several hours later, she said that she would be thinking about us, which was nice. I heard my Mom tell a few others, but I wasn't with them at the time and they never came and said anything to me. Later on I was looking at the family tree again and Margie said how sorry she was  again, which was nice. I wonder if she felt especially affected since her grandchild is due around the same time you were and she imagined how horrible it would be if it happened to her grandchild. 
I knew this, but I hadn't thought about it in a long time. My great-grandmother (my mom's, Mom's Mom) had a baby boy who died at 1 day old in 1920. His name was Frederick and he was born after my grandmother (she had 9 kids, including Frederick). Mom told me about it years and years ago, but I had forgotten until today and several of my Mom's cousins were surprised when they discovered that. I saw it because I was looking at the family tree to see if there had ever been any other stillbirths and I saw his name. It must have been horrible for my great-grandmother. She also lost a son, Reg, in WW2. He was shot down somewhere over France or Germany. My uncle is named after him and so is my Mom's cousin (my Mom named a stuffed toy dog that she got as a little girl Freddie, after Frederick. We still have the dog). They had some pictures from the late 1800's onwards and there were a few of the original Reg. Seeing all the children of my grandmother's brothers and sisters made me think about who else would be there if Frederick and Reg had lived. If Frederick had lived, Debbie wouldn't have been there because her Dad was born after Frederick. Debbie's 4 kids wouldn't have been there, Irene wouldn't have been there, or her 2 kids or 4 grandkids. 
It was a cool day and it rained on and off, but it was still nice. Ben had a lot of fun. I got on a swing and asked him to push me. His little hands on my back felt so cute. He sat on my lap on the swing for awhile and liked that. 
I wasn't sure how I would do in such a large group of people. I haven't done well in the past...I can't concentrate, I daydream, I just can't focus. But it wasn't too bad this time. I can see how I am recovering. I never thought that I would be at this point again. I thought that I would always feel overwhelming sadness every second for the rest of my life, always on the verge of tears. Don't get me wrong, I am still sad and I still miss you every second. I can't do anything without thinking of what should have been, what could have been. I shouldn't have been able to wear the outfit I did to the reunion, it should have been packed away months ago because it didn't fit. I shouldn't have been lifting heavy things, I shouldn't be trying to get pregnant again now. There is no point in thinking like that, but I can't stop. 
I just miss you. I should have been at the reunion with a big belly and everyone coming up and rubbing it, asking questions...do I know if I'm having a boy or a girl, when is the baby due, does the baby kick alot. Questions I miss, questions I may never get to answer. 
Miss you baby,
Mom 

9 comments:

Angela said...

So proud of you for getting thorough a family reunion. I'm still in hiding from most of my family. I'm glad Jacob was included on the family tree. He is a family member and it's wonderful others acknowledged him. I think of you and Jacob often. Can't wait to see your tattoo.

Julie said...

i'm so glad you had a good time. glad to know jacob's name is on that family tree where it belongs!

butterflymom said...

That's awesome about the family tree...and so proud of you for making sure Jacob was added. Very excited to see how your tattoo turns out. I love the symbolism of where you are going to put it.

Elaine said...

I'm glad they added Jacob to the tree. He will always be your first son and it's good that your family recognized that. Can't wait to see your tattoo!!

Rhiannon said...

Thinking of you lots, glad that you made it through the family reunion. I haven't really seen my family since Harper's funeral (we live 6 hours apart) and I am a little nervous about it. Especially since my brother's girlfriend is pregnant and due a month after Harper's due date. You made it and I know I can too. Looking forward to seeing your tattoo! :)

Drew's Parents said...

I loved hearing about the reunion and am so glad that so many people talked with you about Jacob. I just found out that a distant cousin included Drew on his family tree after seeing him on mine. I was so touched that he added Drew...I also wondered what he thought when he saw that our son was born and died the same day. I just stared and stared at his name. Jacob is forever part of your family tree just like his 2nd great granduncle Frederick. You made sure of that and I know Jacob is so proud of his mommy and daddy. Love you!

Danae said...

I am glad you went to the reunion, and I'm glad you made it through it. I'm relieved your family included Jacob on the family tree, where he rightfully belongs. I'm also glad you had people to talk to about Jacob.

I can't wait to see your tattoo. I've thought of doing a memorial tattoo, but am terrified of needles.

I too still struggle with "what should have been". I think it's something we will struggle with for the rest of our lives.

I think of you often, and am sending you lots of virtual hugs!!!

mommy4boys said...

I am so glad you made it to the reunion and was able to talk about Jacob. It is also nice to see that he was added to the family tree. You are such a strong person.

Violet1122 said...

Ok, I don't know Margie, and I'm obviously not in your family - but heaven bless her for adding Jacob's name without missing a beat! And for talking about him during your family reunion. She is an angel here on earth, in my opinion!

Jacob is your son - and you are his mother. And NOTHING will ever be able to change that.

I'm really proud of you - I know the reunion must have been pretty difficult at certain times.

I'm sending out daily prayers for you and your husband - hoping your rainbow baby sparks into your life soon!

((Big Hugs))