On December 4, 2010, the world changed. Who noticed?
My fourth son, John Blaise, was due on April 24, 2011—Easter Sunday that year. Instead, I went into premature labor at 20 weeks, the first Friday in December to a backdrop of twinkle lights. Our little boy still had a heartbeat when we got to the hospital that night, but by the time he was born in the wee hours of Saturday, December 4, his heart had stopped.
That was a difficult Christmas.
Though the date for Easter Sunday moves each year, I can’t help but associate April 24th with Easter and John. And now, with Alexander too since April 24th was the date that my pregnancy with Alexander “began,” two weeks before he was conceived… on Mother’s Day.
Alexander was due on January 29, 2014, but given my history of early labor, I was just hoping to make it til Christmas. Instead, my water broke on Labor Day. He had a heartbeat then, but by the time he was born the next day on September 3rd, his heart was quiet.
With these two boys, my entire calendar has been painted differently. They are most closely tied, in my mind, to Christmas and Easter, especially. It is too soon to say how this year will be different than last since only 7 weeks have passed since Alexander was born still.
I expect we will try to attend Christmasville to celebrate John’s birthday; it always falls close to his birthday, and it feels like a party just for him. I will cling close to our special Christmas traditions, like decorating cut-out Christmas cookies, reading our favorite Advent story book with the boys, listening to Christmas music while snuggled with the boys in the dark, enjoying the multi-color glow of the Christmas tree. I don’t like to cram too many obligations into December. I’ve found that high expectations and full calendars make the Christmas season more emotionally difficult for me. We try to keep our gift lists simplified too.
Through his absence, John Blaise has taught me to focus more on the “important stuff,” none of which can be gift wrapped.
I am unsure what this spring will bring for me. With Easter and Mother’s Day both being newly emotionally charged, both may be difficult. But I’m going to try to appreciate the moment God has given me now. Whatever season I happen to be in, I know He is in it with me.
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