There are times of the year that seem to make the memories stronger, don`t you think?
Christmas is one of those times. As is Thanksgiving. And, of course, Mother`s Day. Those three days seem to stir up the warm recollections of my mother with more ease than other days. As spring fights to hold on while summer battles to take control this year, I find myself pondering upon the yearly rights of junior and senior prom and high school graduation.
I`m not sure how many of my readers are aware of this, and I don`t make a habit of announcing it, but eighteen years ago Mister and I lost our first child, a son, to stillbirth. Of course, I have healed as well as a mother can ever heal from the loss of a child. We were blessed a year later with the arrival of a beautiful baby girl who has become our life, but as the date that our son would have graduated high school grows closer, I can`t help but wonder what John would have become.
Would he be going off to college as his sister plans to do when she graduates next year? Maybe he would skip higher education and enter the work force. Would he have graduated at the top of his class? Or would he have been an average student? Would dad`s love of power mechanics overridden mom`s love of English? Would he have tossed his mortarboard in the air? Would he have stayed out late at his friend’s parties and made us worry?
Would he have gone to prom with a girl he was wild about? What color would his tie and boutonnière been? Would they have slow danced? Would he have thrown silly looks at his younger sister as she enjoyed her junior prom at the same time and location? Would he have married this special girl someday?
So many questions that will never be answered and so many dreams that will never be fulfilled . . .
It is sad and always bittersweet. For those who are struggling with the fresh loss of a baby know that time does help. It does not erase the loss of that child. Nothing ever will. As you can see even eighteen years later, you`ll be lost in daydreams of what could have been. Know though, that the agony does subside.
For all those who have an unseen graduate in their hearts, know that you are not alone.