There’s an ugly scribbled pen mark on my planner under November 20th…the scribble represents what you became, it covers what you were. On a chilly day in March I sat in a CPR class at work, half listening to the instructor, half staring at my cell phone imploring it to ring. It had been my last morning of bloodwork before our first ultrasound…today I would know if you were ‘developing’ on schedule…you, my precious little Warrior, most certainly were… “Your numbers are perfect!” the nurse exclaimed over the phone and I smiled because I knew they would be…just like you would be, just like you already were. “We can safely give you a due date…November 20th.” I hurried back into the CPR class, ignored the annoyed look of the instructor, and immediately took out my blue polka-dot planner…flipped to November and under the 20th wrote DD with a small heart next to it. (Due Date my dear little Warrior).
A week later, after they told me you did not have a heartbeat, I flipped to the same page and scribbled out that happy DD and little heart with such strength the marks can be seen on October 16th and September 18th….The injustice of it all still makes my heart ache…the grief, the anger, the disappointment…You deserved so much more than a scribble…You deserved a life.
But I could not give you that…so I’d like to give you something else today, your day. Here are all of things I will never get to say to you…
You were not simply hoped for…you were fought for…and you were a fighter too. We called you Warrior because you were a survivor, you were literally made of the strongest stuff. Your cells endured, you told SMA to take a backseat, you were the only 1 of 4 who said you’d like to have an at bat and you were a homerun…
Sadly, we lost the game.
I like to imagine you would have been the best parts of your father and me. I envisioned you with his perfect shade of blue eyes and my strangely oversized lips (you would have hated them through high school because you thought you looked like a fish…then learned to like them in your twenties). I hoped you’d have your father’s strange sense of humor and his innate ability to win over a room within minutes…everyone loves your father, everyone would have loved you. I like to think you would have been a planner like me, a fan of details and a lover of words.
I anticipated a life for you…noisy Christmases with your cousin Cam and a roomful of relatives you knew were insane, but the good kind of insane, who made you believe in mermaids and haunted shipwrecks, and cheered you on at every sports event and school play. A life where you camped out in the backyard, swam in freezing cold water in Cape Cod, sang along to Disney songs in the backseat of the car and believed in the Tooth Fairy. A life where you knew every single day how much your father and me wanted you, and prayed for you, and fought for you, and loved you…but also knew you were not above punishment, because as much as we wanted, prayed, fought for and loved you…it was important to us that you were a kind, thoughtful, accepting human.
I know you would not have been perfect. You probably would have drawn on the walls and spilled juice on my white couches. I imagine you would have caused me countless sleepless nights and a lifetime of exhausting days. There would have been times when you let us down…when we found out you teased a classmate or failed a math test…but we would have loved you unconditionally.
We DO love you unconditionally.
The greatest thing I want to tell you is that… I am sorry. I am sorry I could not do better by you. I am sorry that you will never know the joy of riding a two wheeler for the first time, or tease me for crying during The Polar Express (even though we’ve seen it 100 times), or experience the butterflies of having your first crush. I am sorry that today is marked by a scribble…but you were, and always will be, so much more than that.
Your father and I love you. We will never forget you. We will tell the people we love about you for as long as we have people to love. I will always wear the necklace with your name on it around my neck, even if someday I wear the necklaces of your sibling’s names too. If there are siblings, I will tell them about you. I will forever be stronger because of you, because I now believe that a Warrior’s mother is a warrior in her own right.
All the things I wished for you…kindness, strength, unconditional love and hope…you gave them to me. You made me better. I will spend my life whispering to you a million thank you’s, a million I’m sorry’s and a million I love you’s.
So dear Warrior…thank you…I’m sorry…I love you.