Tucker's birthday is next week and I was desperate to get them to a resting place before their birthdays so I can maybe head towards some closure on this part of them. The part where they have been sitting in a high chair at my parents for the past several months. In boxes.
It started making me go kind of crazy. I wanted them out. I wanted them free. Which is silly and ridiculous because they have been in heaven for nearly a year. But it was important to me.
I picked the boys up, put them in my car and drove them home. I walked them up the stairs, dropped one of them, I mean, it's me we're talking about. I get them both settled on the kitchen table and wait for Jason to get home.
He does and I open Tucker's box. I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't what I expected. And it was a kick to the gut. But I did it. Then we opened Fletchers's. There sitting at the kitchen table, Mommy and Daddy and our boys.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to laugh. This is ridiculous. I want 2 curly haired blonde baby boys grabbing at everything I have. We had bags of their ashes. We drove to the place we wanted to spread them and they are wrapped up in a blanket and Jason asks me to grab them. So, with feet frozen to the ground not able to move, I grab this blanket, that is holding what is left of our boys, I'm holding it and I'm broken. I thought I'd be stronger. I thought I'd be able to hold it together.
I was holding my boys, wrapped up in a blanket, close to my chest. My stomach hurt and I felt like I was going to throw up but for both Jason and I we were ready to spread them. So we did. And it hurt. It was a gut wrenching hurt. Tears steady falling from a place I was sure had long dried up by now, bent over in pain because we were finally letting go of the last physical parts we had of them.
Tucker's birthday is next week. Fletchers is 11 days later, Christmas Eve. I'm trying to find something for us to to for them. Everything seems weird or strange or wrong. I'm praying God will fill those questions with the right answers for us.
What have I learned in this past year? People grieve differently. At different times. What affects one may not affect others. I've been told it's time to move on, to move past this, we've had enough sadness. Time to get back to life.
But then the advise givers stop talking. Possibly because they are met with a blank state from me but I don't know if it's because they 1. realized how stupid that sounded when said out loud or 2. They have absolutely no basis of knowledge to draw from to offer such strong words. I recognize these grief suckers now usually from the first few words, so mostly I tune them out.
People will find it strange that I acknowledge their birthdays. The same people who bloviate all over facebook and instagram pics and stories of their birthday girl or boy will find mine strange, creepy, weird, pity party, blah.
Get over it.
We have birth certificates. Why? Because they both were born alive and they lived. And we had to have birth certificates in order to get death certificates. So we have them both - birth certificates and death certificates. Both issued probably the same day, but hours separating the 2 huge announcements. Then 11 days later we got to do it all again.
SO dear sirs and madams, here's an open letter you're welcome to read.
I am a mom. I am a mom to 2 boys. They have different birthdays, but yes, they were twins. I'm doing the best I can. For the most part I am doing pretty well. But sure as the sun came up this morning, the closer it gets to Dec 10 when my water broke, my body knows. And it aches. Don't think your body can't tell you things? Explain that to this lady whose right breast leaks milk every time a baby cries. Because my body didn't get the memo that our boys are gone. My body is still in mommy mode and ready to feed her hungry babies.
Can't do that. Obviously.
Yes, there are days I still cry. I miss them. Every single day. I don't cry for them every single day. That's gotta be some progress for those keeping score of how I'm living my life. I'm busy getting on with things. I'm working, I'm getting ready for Christmas, I'm reading more books than I've ever read in my life. All in an attempt to keep this forward momentum going in the right direction.
I won't ever move on. That signifies that I would be moving on from or past the boys. The 2 kids I prayed for. The 2 boys God gave us. That'll never happen. I will carry them in my heart every breath I breathe. They are part of me and Thank God, will forever be.
In an act of "Moving ON" (mean stare, you know who I'm talking to) I went to the store to pick up some Christmas decorations. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays. Thanksgiving I got through, Christmas I want to enjoy. So I'm loaded up with all the Christmas crap and the mean lady in front of me turns to me and says, "Oh, you're one of THOSE who goes ALL out for Christmas."
I stared blankly at this stupid, grouchy woman as I have flashbacks of mom and dads Christmas party last year where I was glowing and pregnant, surrounded by our kids, families, my Nana and friends. Then I have flashbacks of my water breaking a few days later, spending most of Dec in the hospital with people bringing Christmas trees and flowers. The spirit of Christmas was there with us. Until we left the hospital Christmas Day. Me with someone eles's blood coursing through my veins, holding 2 memory boxes.
Yes, old mean lady. I'm going all out for Christmas. I'm going to decorate and make this a happy place that radiates with God's love, Jesus' birthday and a season of peace, hope and joy.
I'm able to do that as I'm slowly finding that in my life again. And because I didn't know her story or why she was so hateful, I offered her a very heartfelt "Merry Christmas."
Beauty from ashes. I'm trying boys. Your mom is giving it her all. I'm fighting with everything I have in me to remember your birthdays with pride. You were so beautiful. I'm remembering with Thanksgiving. You were both such an answer to prayer and loved by so many people...
Last year I carried you in my belly. This year I carry you in my heart. But I will carry you, always, because you, boys, are the reason I'm here. The reason I fight so hard to get back to where I was. The reason I continue to love with no reservations, the reason I get up in the morning to be the best that God has designed for me to be.
God has made beauty from ashes. Their lives mattered. To me and so many other people. And I would have to think that the prayers of so many parents would be for their kids to change lives, to bring people to Christ and to bring people together. Our boys, our beautiful, perfect, mini Melissa and mini Jason did just that.
Job well done Tucker. Fletcher, your mom is so proud. And I will continue to love out loud, grieve out loud and move forward, out loud, because that's what I do. And you boys, have given me something I never knew I had. I have the strength, determination and perseverance to make this life the best I can, even missing my 2 special boys. Even in the midst of rude comments, crappy "advise" and heartache. You are our boys. Who will forever and always, be in my heart, in my mind and the light shining so, so brightly in my eyes!