December 4th is one of my dates. We all have significant dates that we mark on our calendars, like birthdays and anniversaries. For some of us, the dates include when we lost someone we loved. I was once told that I was “morbid” because I remember those dates, but I don’t agree. And the few people to whom I have reached out around one of their dates, also disagree. It let them know I cared about them.
We remember those dates because they mark a moment when lives changed forever. It is a way to stay connected to someone we’ve lost. We can give ourselves permission to be sad in the midst of busy days. It is a day for remembering good times. While their absence is felt, their presence still had meaning. It is a way to pay tribute, to say thank-you, to reflect.
December 4th is one of my dates. It was supposed to be a birthday. That first December, after I lost Hope, I gave myself permission to be sad. I planned to stay in my pjs all day. I told Hubby to bring me pink roses and I promised that I would only ask him that first year. I’ve kept my promise. But I didn’t end up staying in my pjs. Big Guy’s driving test was scheduled for that morning (he couldn’t drive himself)! I went out for lunch with a friend. In the afternoon, the boys & I decorated our Christmas tree, and Little Guy at 3, was delighted with everything.
Some years are harder than others. This year my baby would be turning 6 – such a fun age! I imagine a little girl with her Daddy’s gray eyes and red hair like her brothers. She would have pink fingernails to match her rosy cheeks, just like mine. I imagine Barbie paraphernalia scattered around the living room, amongst the Lego creations. And I image purple balloons and chocolate cake with pink icing (she would have liked chocolate, just like me)! Just because I never held my baby in my arms doesn’t mean I haven’t held her in my heart.
I can’t not remember the day I found out I was pregnant, or the day I found out I was losing her (or him – we never knew). Those dates impacted my life forever. And so I remember the day that was supposed to be a birthday. It’s my small way to stay connected to a little life that had meaning.