I have been psychoanalyzing myself trying to figure out my struggle, and I think that I am on to something. I have felt like this time around with Tatum, has been a lot harder than with Trevin. Here are some thoughts that I have had. When Trevin died there was no official diagnosis, that we were aware of. Which sounds horrible, but it really was a blessing. We didn't know that we, Lance and I, had "caused" the sickness. (I know that we can't help our genetic make up, but you still feel a little sad when you realize that it is actually something that you gave to your child) When Trevin died, Lance and I had already made the decision to try and have more children. We had that to look forward to. I knew that I would have another baby, even though Halea sure took her sweet time getting here! I had that hope. I also didn't know with Trevin how long, the rest of my life without him would be. I know how long 19 years is. That is how long it has been since I have seen him or held him or smelled him, and it is awful. I have forgotten, and I know that I will forget certain things of Tatum. It is tearing my heart out. I don't want to face all of those years. In two months I will cross off ONE. I also didn't know, because I hadn't been a parent before, all of the amazing joy that comes from raising a child. Now I know all that I am missing with Tates. I look at my kids and I know that I will never see her walk, talk,sing, go to a dance, curl her hair, tell me about her first crush, win an award, go to college, get married, have her own family, the list goes on and on. Don't get me wrong, the fact that I don't have to teach two more children how to drive or pay for their insurance is not probably going to hurt my feelings completely. But all of the other things are gut wrenching, now that I know about them.
The other day Hilary was watching this little boy, who is a little over one, walk. She looked at me and said "Look at that baby walk. I didn't know babies could walk". She was really impressed and I could just see the wheels turning in her head. Tatum didn't walk and she was his age and size. It was interesting. Today I was at lunch with my good friend and at the end of our lunch a family came and sat down close to our table. They had a little girl in a high chair that was so cute and smiley and laughing. My friend and I were talking and I noticed Hilary was quiet and just staring at this little girl. She sat there for several minutes, staring. We both got a little teary because we could read what Hilary was thinking. You can see it on her face how she misses her baby. Why does everyone else get to have a baby, but not her. It was kind of hard to compose ourselves. Especially because we were already on the verge, talking about headstone designs. Just another normal day in the life of me.
About a week and a half ago I had a thought come to my mind. What will I say when someone asks me if Hilary is my youngest? I have done pretty well avoiding a lot of situations where there are new people who don't know me. I have had a few occasions to tell people about Tatum and Trevin over the past several months, but there has always been a reason. It hasn't been just an accidental, awkward social situation. So I had this thought, and my response in my mind was, "I don't know, I guess it depends". About two days later, IT HAPPENED! I was at my workout class and this poor, unsuspecting lady asked me if Hilary was my youngest. I said "well, technically. But not really. I had a younger daughter that died last May". Of course she was flabbergasted. I felt really bad for her. I was proud that i was able to say it without really getting teary, trying not to make her feel worse. Then I told her it was OK, I liked when people asked about her. We were in the middle of sprints and so after we finished the sprinting part of the class she asked more questions and I was able to tell her the rest of the story. She was really sweet about it. I just couldn't believe that I had that weird feeling that it was going to happen. These are hard social situations that you just want to prepare for and handle gracefully. Generally I don't come off very graceful because I fumble over my words trying to make them feel more comfortable.
So that incident happened on Monday. On Tuesday I went to the high school to take Hilary to a puppet show that the special needs kids were putting on. When we arrived, there were several classes that were going to the auditorium to attend the show. Two of Halea's friends ended up in line next to me. We said hello to each other and then one of the boys said "Hi Tatum", to Hilary. Luckily she didn't hear him or else she would have corrected him and made him feel awful. After he said it, he looked at me horrified and started fumbling a little bit. He said something like, "oh her name is...". I smiled and said, "Hilary". He apologized and I could feel how sad he was that he had said Tatum's name. I smiled and assured him that I love to hear Tatum's name and that I thought it was sweet that he remembered her name. Poor guy. He'll probably never say any of our names again!
The rest of that week was just emotional. I have to force myself to go into social situations where there are going to be a lot of people. So unlike me. We had a ward function, that was fantastic, but it was really hard to get myself to it. I just wanted to stay home so I didn't have to make small talk with people.
Lance and I went cruising the cemetery, for our Saturday night date, looking at headstone designs. This has been weighing so heavy on my mind. I just want the headstone to be perfect,and represent who they were and what they meant to us and that is too much pressure so I am avoiding making decisions about it. I went and talked to a monument place and they were super nice. It helped a lot to go and look at headstones in the cemetery. (again, another weird day in my life)
After the cemetery tour a few of my friends and I went out to get dessert. We all three had really weird Saturdays, so it was fun to drown our sorrows in some pastries.
Besides my emotions, my brain has been a little more foggy than normal. Yesterday i went to the school and picked up carpool and it was not my day!! Who does that? It's not like I drive a mile, and only have a few minutes to figure this out. I drive for a good 10-15 minutes. You would think that it would have dawned on me at some point that it was a MONDAY. wow. Brain fog and absolute loss of energy have been high the past few weeks, so look out. I never know what I'm going to do next.
I am usually really good at keeping myself pretty together, but today I got a little teary even at my workout class. For no reason.
My emotions are just high right now. I think all of the above things created the perfect storm in the past few weeks. So I couldn't have been happier when on Sunday we came home from church to find one little bunch of daffodils in full bloom in our yard. A few of my friends came and planted them last fall, knowing that winter would be hard and that spring would be harder. I have been watching the greens peak out of the ground and then grow taller and taller for the past several weeks. I have just been waiting for those cheerful yellow flowers to bloom. Voila, they did.
Today one of my friends posted this quote. I love this analogy of perspective. I am constantly trying to have my kids step back and take a look at the bigger picture. Sometimes when I am in the trenches, I also loose perspective. I know that all of these hard things are pebbles in my life. Maybe Trevin and Tatum are more like medium sized rocks. But I still know that I can make it through all things if I but depend on the Lord. I also know that I am not done with hard trials, and that there will possibly be harder things ahead. I also know that I have a deep abiding faith that I can do hard things, again, with the help of and only through our Savior. Tonight for scripture study we read Ether 12. A great chapter on faith. Read it if you haven't lately, it is full of good things.
So grateful for perspective in all things, and for a loving Heavenly Father who sent us here with a plan.