Monday, November 26, 2012

The Healing Trip

March 18, 2011
Today is a Tear Soup kind of day. Daddy and I took a spontaneous weekend trip to Surfside Beach for what we call our "Healing Trip." This month has weighed heavy on my mind. March is considered Trisomy Awareness month. Ironically, today, March 18th, is Trisomy 18 Awareness Day (3/18 - 3 copies of 18th chromosome). And here we are going on a beautiful trip. At least I hope it is beautiful. I am sad to leave you baby boy. It is strange how I've become attached to your grave. I visit you every afternoon and I just stare at the little muddy outline of such a tiny grave. It just doesn't seem right to have a grave so tiny. Nobody should have to bury a baby. It has become such a special little place for me. I would have never guessed I would be spending so much time in a cemetery.
But I guess, honestly, there's no need to be sad. You are going on this trip with us. So after school today, we pack our bags and head for the beach. We take the back way, which was a bad idea! We got a little turned around and then our GPS took us to the beach on a small country road that was uninhabited for miles!! My nerves are getting the best of me. I get very nervous being on such quiet roads. You never know when something might go wrong and there's no where to turn to for help. We finally get the keys to our condo and realize there's no water. A midnight phone call to maintenance and the water gets turned on. Mommy and Daddy were so awake at this point, we went and bought our groceries for the weekend and finally hit the hay at 3:00 in the morning. Phew! What a long day. There will be plenty of time for sleep tomorrow, I suppose.

March 19, 2011
BEAUTIFUL DAY! We woke up and got out on the beach early. It is a little breezy, but when your body has craved the sun all winter, its easier to feel the warmth through the breeze. Daddy and I sat on the beach and talked a long time. I love those kinds of conversations with your Daddy. We wished we had our 4-legged baby girl with us. There were not many people out, so I know she would have behaved.
I sat and looked at the beautiful sparkling water and wondered about how different my life would be if you were here. I definitely wouldn't be on the beach getting a "sun tan," but I'd trade it for my boy anyday. I miss you so much. I've called this our "Healing Trip." Its a trip for Mommy and Daddy to be together, away from everyday life, and heal. But no relaxing, beautiful day on the beach would compare to the life I could've had with you. I'd take a recliner in the NICU by my baby's bed over all of this. It would be a hard life, but it would be worth it...
...for you...
You have a big mission to fulfill in Heaven. That, itself, makes me feel like an honored mother. Sadly, it still doesn't change the fact that I just plain miss you. 
As lunchtime rolled around, more people came out. A rambunctious little boy threw his beach toys down right beside us and hollered, "Right here, Mom?!?!?"
His mother yelled back a frustrated, "No!" Heehee. Of all the wide open beach that surrounded us, he was ready to throw his toys down and start playing right next to us. As close as could be. Daddy and I just giggled at him. They went to a more open area and set up camp. I liked watching the kids play. The hyper little guy ran down to the water and goes, "Mom, there's starfish everywhere! There's millions!!"
I waited a little while before I went down to check out the starfish, when what I really wanted to do was jump up and go running to the little boy and say, "Let me see!!!!"
I can be as bad as the kids sometimes. I was amazed at all the starfish. There really were millions; he wasn't lying! I picked one up and held it bottom side up in my hand. Did you know that he has little feelers that line his underbody? What a neat discovery. I imagined discovering this with my curious little angel. I watched his tiny feelers on his underside as they wiggled and squirmed. His little feelers got slower and slower and then stopped. Oh dear, I just killed the starfish. I really am not sure what I was thinking. I don't know if I want to laugh or cry. Luckily, I laughed. I am on a healing trip, recovering from a tragic loss, and here I am killing starfish. Whelp, he's a goner, so I'm keeping him. A sweet little souvie for you, baby boy! Haha!
I take our starfish to Daddy and told him I was going on a walk down the beach. 
This walk on the beach was the most amazing walk I've ever taken. I felt you right by my side. I talked to you as we walked and I could just imagine you stopping and looking at all of the interesting shells, even the ones that really weren't interesting. That's when I saw it. Something I have never seen before. A ladybug was sitting on a seashell. Have you ever seen such a thing? I knew instantly who put that ladybug there for me. He's playing with mommy. I have never seen a ladybug at the beach in my life. Especially right here on the shoreline. After quite a while of marveling over this amazing thing, I told our ladybug goodbye and that's when I noticed the others. There were at least 7 or 8 more ladybugs on the wet, packed sand. My sweet angel, did you think I wouldn't see? Oh, I see you, baby. 
You've opened my eyes.
I couldn't stop smiling as I walked back to Daddy. It was the biggest, most genuine smile I've ever felt. My baby made himself known to me today. He is here, he is right here. 
I get back to our beach blanket and admire my small collection of shells and starfish. What neat discoveries. I imagined discovering these things with my curious little angel. I would have loved to teach you things and teach you how to love and appreciate the Earth. Lots of tender mercies today. And a bit of a tender bottom. I should have known better than to spend so much time in the sun. But I'm still loving every second. 
**On a sad note, back home, a group of children ages 5 to 11 from a local church near and dear to my heart went to a park in Spartanburg to ride the train for its first run of the season. The train derailed and took the life of the pastor's 5 year old son. Twenty others were hospitalized. My heart is broken. And just like that, the sick feeling is back. My heart aches for each of them. Especially that sweet momma.**

March 21, 2011
We're headed home from the beach today. Yesterday was much too chilly to get back out on the beach. We just went shopping around Broadway at the Beach. We got home today around 1:00ish. I went straight to the cemetery to visit you. It was a beautiful sunny day. I took you your starfish and placed it at your grave. It sits with your dinosaur snow globe from Aunt Summer and your secret valentine. I realized that this is not a "Healing Trip" but a "Healing Journey." I realized I will never fully heal, and I found some peace with that truth. Before, I wanted my wounds to heal because I don't like that sicky, sad feeling. I realized that I'll always have the scar from my wound. Yes, it heals, but you'll always remember and you'll always have those sicky, tear soup days. But I'm going to be okay. You are right here, baby boy. I can almost smell your sweet baby breath in the breeze. I found some healing and each day I'll find more, but the truest, complete healing will come the day we meet again. 


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