Now it is later, and we have had a somber and tender day, yet still filled with the regular busyness that life with children, employment and a home holds. I really wanted to do something special to celebrate and remember Matthew, but it felt a little forced. I do appreciate so much the smattering of phone calls, visits, gifts and even a surprise anonymous package we received. I wish I knew who our beautiful "sun jar" is from, but I don't, so I'll send out a general thank you to the thoughtfulness and sweet message of the sender, and to each touch we felt today. Anyway, though we wanted to do something special nothing felt like it was enough, and you know, nothing could be enough. Once I was able to recognize that feeling within myself, that it was okay for this just to be a hard day, I felt better. I wrote our baby a note to tell him this, that I couldn't do anything on this day but express that I remember him literally every hour of the day, and that I wish that I knew his face. Troy and Stomper also composed a note, and Stomper chose a tiny toy he really wanted to send. We tied our offerings to balloons and had a really lovely family time (even Bitty seemed to be slightly aware of what we were doing) on the back lawn, cuddled on our Matthew Blanket (thank you still and again, dear Mayfields) and let the balloons go.
So, on this day of what feels like emotional time travel, we are returning to a place in ourselves that holds this experience frozen, each raw emotion of anger, loss, tenderness, faith, surety, and sorrow still fully fresh when we choose to look there. We feel again our gratitude for the family we have, the closeness we have gained, and again the longing to get back what we never can.
I don't know what else to say. I think I'm exhausted, actually, and need to snuggle with my husband and go to bed. I would like to end by posting a poem I wrote a couple of months ago, when I felt like I was finally able to write. I love my friends and family dearly, and again express my faith in our journey home.
To Kathryn and Emily Jean,
To Danielle, Winnie, Margaret and Sarah
To you silent and still ones
Whom we long to know and a little bit we do
Whom we yearn to cradle, touch, smell
Whom we ache to rest our hungry gaze upon
To breathe in the fuzzy warmth of your skin
I say to you that you are known,
That your names are spoken, whispered, remembered
Upon our lips, upon our skin, in our bones and on our walls
Whatever part of you we knew, we know by heart even still
And think of it, be it the kicking in our bellies or the mournful bundle in our arms,
We think of it with beauty and darkness together.
Babes, you are quiet as secrets, which we tell ourselves daily.
Do you hear us shout with joy and longing to think you belong to us?
Do you feel in our words and songs and breaths
The echoes of your presence?
Can you know that with each touch we give
Some of it goes to you?
Certainly you know, you feel, you wait
And listen to the chimes and ringing bells that are our hopes
Sounding forward to you in glory