Here we are. One year later.
Right about now my labor was really starting to begin. I can remember sitting in a chair in the hospital room, our priest from our church came in and was praying for us and for our strength, I can remember during the prayer feeling discomfort deep within me, I can remember wondering if labor was actually beginning.
With Ariel and Racecar I never really experienced labor and delivery, after having a c-section with Racecar, I knew I would never have a vaginal delivery. I was always a little disappointed about that, little did I know that God was saving that experience for me for two very special boys.
The contractions arrived and intensified. The pain was unbearable and usually non-stop, throughout labor I was continuously offered pain medication and epidurals. But each time I refused. All I could think about was how this labor was my real labor of love. I would breathe through each contraction thinking that this is just one day of my life, this is just one moment in time that is for them, I wanted to feel what I was supposed to feel. I didn’t want to miss a single experience I was supposed to have with them, no matter how painful.
That physical pain was a sliver of the emotional pain we have experienced.
The labor was my gift from them. Although it was such a tragic end to something so beautiful, that experience that I had with them was so unique, it was something I had never experienced before and I hope I will never experience again.
I can’t believe an entire year has passed. This day marks the day we held their perfection in our arms and it marks the beginning of a season for us, a season of tears, questions, anger, sadness and experiences that have changed us forever. Everyday seems like a new anniversary of sorts, tomorrow marks the day we held them for the last time, this week marks the time we cried all throughout the day and it was expected and understood, the time when food and flowers were delivered seemingly non-stop, the memorial service, picking up their ashes, learning to live with grief.
There are so many memories flooding into our brains and into our hearts that it’s overwhelming. Somehow, though, it feels good, it feels good to be dedicating this time to James and Jake. I get so carried away with life that the only time I find myself feeling the heartache is while driving alone in my car or laying in bed, after turning out the lights.
James and Jake have changed us forever. We laugh and love more, we let go of the little things, we just want to live and live fully, all because James and Jake have taught us just how precious, beautiful and fragile this life is. Their power is undeniable, their mark is forever.
YOUR mark is forever, too. I told my sister, a few days after losing James and Jake that my biggest fear is that James and Jake would be forgotten, the mere thought made my heart break into a million little pieces. But so many of you are still here, so many of you have not forgotten, so many of you live fuller lives because of James and Jake and that is their power and that is so beautiful and healing to us.
Every story we hear about how they have affected you is inspiring to us. Every comment you leave about your love for our boys is a like a little gift handed to us, wrapped in the most beautiful paper, that we will hold onto for the rest of our lives. I could listen to you forever, telling me how your heart is better because of James and Jake.
We’d love to hear from you today, because this day, as my friend Amy pointed out, “is a day that maybe we’ll remember the special things from this day one year ago, meeting our boys, holding them, studying them and their beautiful features, loving them in the flesh.“ This day is not just about the sadness, but also about the beautiful, the amazing, the good.
Yes, there is good.
“our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” -confuscius