They were changing three years ago on this day too.
I was excited. There was so much to look forward to. Fall was coming...Summer was still blazing, but the sky was different--Like it is when it's Fall. The sun was starting to set earlier, and the days got a tiny bit shorter...
And we were supposed to be parents in about a week. A WEEK.
I can feel that change in my bones every year now. It used to mean the holidays were coming--The only "seasons" that California really gets are when the days get shorter.
But now that change of season comes with a tinge of wistfulness. Remembering that my heart is still broken. Realizing that it will always be broken.
People always say that each of their children hold a place in their heart. A place that grows and evolves over time, if they're lucky. Luke's place never got moved into. Even though Lena occupies SO MUCH of her own little space, his space still feels hollow. Lena has evolved into her own tiny personhood. She shares who she IS. She has opinions. She challenges me and shows love back to me. I never even got to hear your cry, Luke.
The tears and outbursts are fewer and farther between now. But as I feel September and your birthday come on, it's hard not to feel weepy. Still. I still feel sorry for myself and for missing out on an entire life that was so close to being here but never made it.
Three years ago, my life changed forever. The happily-ever-after story that seemed so attainable for everyone else was suddenly no longer a thing for us.
Who would you be today, Luke? A toddler with so many opinions, most likely. Sometimes I look at Lena and try to add 15 months onto her and project what you'd look like now. Would you know as many words as her? Would you be into trucks or dolls? What would your favorite cartoon be?
I'm more at peace with what happened now, three years on. I can function like a normal mom. I have a child that people see with their own eyes, and they recognize me as a mother. But I still struggle when I feel like you're a secret to the world. A secret that only my inner circle knows and keeps in their thoughts. The invisible life that never got lived.
Now the tears are coming.
Grief never ends. That's the thing I've come to understand the most these past three years. Tragedy like ours cuts a hole in your heart that can be uncovered with a single thought or memory. Sometimes I feel like my wounds are scabbed and healed, but then I'll think of your face on this day, three years ago. And it's a fresh wound again. You can never heal from grief. It's always there. Some days it's easier to handle than others, and that's about all you can predict. I do have joy in my life again. I smile. I laugh. There's so much to be happy about. I don't wake up in the middle of the night with tears in my eyes anymore.
But there's been three years without you. How can you feel so far away, and yet so close?
One month from today, we'll be walking in our 4th Walk to Remember. Forever Footprints is a wonderful organization that takes care of families like us by providing training to hospital staff, offering books, memory boxes, support groups, and so much more to those who are going through what we went through. If you're local and would like to join us, or if you're not and would like to register as a virtual walker, you can sign up below--Join our team Luke's Skwalkers.
OC Walk to Remember 2015 Registration
And if you'd just like to make a donation in Luke's name, we have a fundraising page here: Luke's Skywalkers