We brought the bears downstairs with us Christmas morning (I slept with one of them, and Jacob's blanket that I always sleep with, the night before), but I didn't hold either of them while the gifts were being opened. It was just too much and would have made me too sad. But I wanted them in the room and they were.
Opening the gifts wasn't too bad, but watching Ben run around the room, delivering the gifts to the person we told him too, made me sad since we will never see Jacob do that. Several times I looked around the room at everyone and imagine how it would be if Jacob was in our arms and being passed around from person to person. That is what I imagined last Christmas. That is what we came close to having this Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, Laurie wore a wrap sweater and was always careful to wrap it around her belly whenever Ted and I were around. On Christmas morning, she was wearing a loose shirt. I could still see her belly, but it wasn't under a tight shirt, which helped. It did hurt the few times I saw her resting her arms over her belly and when she mentioned how tired she was and how she had heartburn. I was in the kitchen at some point and Ted said that Laurie and Mom were on the couch together and started talking about what next Christmas will be like when her baby boy is here and it hurt Ted to hear it. I haven't asked any more details about the conversation because I don't really want to know. Andy also gave Laurie a few gifts and said that she could use them with "the boys", which also made my heart lurch.
We did our family pictures, with Jacob's bears in the picture.
After the first round was taken, Laurie suggested that someone else hold a bear and Mom held one. I liked that idea.
Jessie and Dave and Laurie, Andy and Ben left in the early afternoon to go to the in-laws. Ted and I decided that was a good time to go to the garden to plant the rose we bought. That was definitely the hardest part of the day. We arrived at the garden and as we got close to the spot where Jacob's ashes are buried, Ted said "Hi Jake Jake". It was the first time I have heard him call Jacob by a nickname and the tears came. Ted always talks out loud to Jacob when we visit, but I always talk to him in my head, unless I am alone. Ted told him how much we love him and miss him and wish that he was here. I said all the same things. We stood there hugging for awhile and then decided to plant the flower.
|The last time I was in this spot was when |
we were putting his ashes in the ground
As Ted was setting up the tripod for us to take a family picture, he took this picture as I was talking to my baby boy and crying.
Our family picture. It should have looked so different.
When we left the garden and got in the car, Ted opened up and said what a huge loss we have suffered. I have always felt bad leaving Jacob when I leave the garden, as if I am abandoning him. Ted brought it up this time, saying how much he hates doing it, that he feels like we are leaving him all alone in the cold. All we wanted to do was to protect him forever and we couldn't do that. I was crying a little and we talked about how happy we were last Spring. Everything was working out and falling into place in our life and the absolute best thing was that we were expecting a baby. We had the everyday worries and concerns of everyday life, but we were so incredibly happy and it was all because of the little life we had created and were working hard to do everything right for. Ted had to take over the cooking because I was too nauseous to even attempt it and he always made sure I ate well, even though I threw it up for a good 6 weeks or so. And then when we saw him for the first time and then I felt him move for the first time. I had never been so happy. We couldn't wait for the time when Ted would be able to feel him move too. We were so close to that time when we lost him.
We got back to the house and before we knew it, it was time for dinner. Lindsay's friend Sana came over and as we were sitting around the table, I told her what my family had gotten for us in memory of Jacob. I broke down when telling her what the inscription in the books said and I couldn't continue. I said sorry that I couldn't talk. Sana rubbed my back and my Dad said that they would be more worried if I wasn't crying.
I don't know how I got so lucky to have such a great husband, a wonderful family, and wonderful friends.
After everyone left and we cleaned up, I went to lie on the couch with Ted. We talked about how love can hurt and not only did his son die, but a he has watched a piece of his wife die too. He said that he can never understand the bond that I had, that I have, with Jacob and I can never understand what it has been like for him, to lose your son and a piece of your wife.