Seven years is a long time.
So much has happened in seven years, the chief amongst them being the birth of my rainbow child, Nicholas. He's five years old, a thriving kindergartner. He's bright and silly and inquisitive and creative. He's coming into his own in so many ways, and my life and heart revolve around him.
Still, these next several days take me back in time in a heartbeat. Though I have moved on and healed so much over the past seven years, I cannot help but to remember. To ache. To yearn. To wonder.
I do not regret the events of seven years ago. That is not to say that I am glad that it happened. That couldn't be further from the truth. But I think that I am a profoundly different mother because of my loss, and as someone who wholeheartedly believes that every event in our lives has a deep reason behind it, I understand the reasons that my first son, Gregory, was born with angel's wings.
Over the next few days, I will grieve anew. I will look at the date on the calendar, the time on the clock, and I will relive those moments of seven years ago. October 5th was the last day of hope for a different outcome; by the next day I was in the hospital awaiting the inevitable. At 9:00 a.m. on October 8th, my beloved husband and I were learning how to say the most difficult good-bye of our lives.
It changed who I am as a mother, as a wife. As a human being.
And though I wish it had never happened, still I am grateful. God showed me how strong I am. He showed me what an amazing and loving man I married. God showed me how amazingly blessed I am through the outpouring of love from family and friends and colleagues, even complete strangers (some of whom became dear friends). He gave me the opportunity and voice to share my story, one that is so often taboo and unspoken, so that I could help others to understand their own grief and to find their own paths toward healing.
God blessed me with my very own rainbow of hope in the birth of a living son in 2008. He led me to understand that motherhood is more than just giving birth. It is opening your heart to love and care about someone more than yourself. I am a very different mother now than I would have been seven years ago, I think. I don't take my role as a mother for granted. I know how profoundly blessed I am.
I am blessed beyond my capacity for words.
I will grieve anew over the next few days. I will remember and mourn. I will embrace my husband and share his tears. I will visit the rose garden and pray for peace.
But I will also hold Nicholas's hand. I will watch him run through the garden with delight and joy and life.
I will live in the joy of each precious moment with him and with those I love.