My Dearest Aiden,
Happy 3rd Earth Birthday!
I remember when you entered the world. I was there, you know. I was supporting mom after a pretty long night. I think you were comfortable where you were, you didn’t want to come out! When you finally did, you gave us a little scare. That cord was pretty wrapped around your rather large neck and head. Once they got that off, though, you were a sight for these tired eyes. Your head was a little funny looking; I won’t lie to you about that. I mean, you were a pretty big babe and your mom was a tiny a little thing. All that pushing made your head a shape I haven’t seen before! But oh, everything about you was so you and so your mom and so perfect. We actually weren’t sure whether you would be born with a nose or with a partial nose. The sonograms that your mom had throughout her pregnancy (let’s bring that up in another blog) signaled not just a very large head but that there could be an issue with a nasal defect. We weren’t exactly sure what to expect but there you were, showing us your strength from the minute you were born and within a few minutes that Apgar score was right where Grandma wanted it. Plus, your nose was perfect. We knew we would love you and we already did, but how could I know it would grow that day and the days to come and be this love I am ultimately blessed to have experienced and known?
I know this is weird but yours was the first birth I’d ever seen. I didn’t see or watch or video your mom’s birth or your Auntie Heather’s or Unkie Ty’s. I have never in my life seen such a beautiful thing and then, to have my heart explode with actually seeing you (when I didn’t think I could love you anymore than I did while you were in mom’s womb) was a feeling I never had! And, you never got to hear this story but I held you first! I did!
Truly, you were a miracle of life and my first grandbaby and nothing could ever prepare me for the love and sense of protection that filled me.
Pa and I were so blessed to have you living with us full time. We were obsessed with you! We were there for all your milestones. There for your first words (I promise I forgive you for saying Pa before Grandma because it is a much easier word to say, lol), rolling over, eating food for the first time, sitting, trying to crawl. We loved seeing your face and your smile. I loved my Grandma cuddles and our reading time. I had all my special loves under one roof. How does anyone get that lucky?
I remember getting ready to celebrate your first birthday. Your mom ordered all your favorite things and planned a great big picnic. Mickey all the way! She was so excited, we just all wished you felt a little better-you were always so under the weather and sad. We were sure we would figure out whatever was going on though and fix it and then we could celebrate.
Figure it out, we did. Just…not the way we thought. You spent your first birthday under the hospital lights, in a hospital room, with a hospital gown and food. Saddled with the weight of the horrible truth that you had cancer. Despite that and all our ‘unknowns’, we all wanted it to be as ‘normal’ as possible. We had balloons, family and friends, a singing resident doctor, presents, decorations, pizza, and a Mickey Mouse cake. Your mom felt like it was a terrible way to spend a birthday and it was but I remember telling her that this would only be your first birthday of many and you would just remember the fun, not the hospital. In our many years to come, we would celebrate it HUGE and celebrate your life and all your accomplishments!
But, you never made it to your second birthday. And now here we are, living through your third when you’re not here on this earth.
I don’t know how to explain how much I miss you. I don’t know how to tell you that I wish you were here and not there. I wish you were here even if it means you had to still be fighting the horrible cancer or the after effects of treatment. I wish you were here even if it wasn’t meant to be or in God’s ultimate plan or whatever rubbish is said to us to comfort us. Maybe something you don’t know but your Grandma can be pretty selfish, can’t she? Dammit though (forgive my swearing), you should be here. YOU should be HERE. I’m so mad at the world. I’m mad at the doctors although in my heart I know this isn’t their fault. I’m mad that we didn’t find the cancer sooner, that they didn’t recognize something they couldn’t have on that last day before sending you home, that they couldn’t revive your little heart no matter how hard they tried. I’m mad that they couldn’t SAVE you. I’m mad that treatments are poisonous and outdated and can kill even the tiniest of babies. I’m mad that nobody has found a cure. I’m mad that people walk around every day and carry on like this didn’t kill you and doesn’t make your tiny warrior friends suffer every day. I’m mad that kids are still dying. I’m mad at myself for letting you down. I’m mad that I let your mom down. I promised this wouldn’t happen, but it did.
Most of all though, I’m sad. Irreversible, never-ending, lost, physical pain sort of sad. I have never missed anyone like this. I have never experienced this sort of grief or this broken of a heart. I can wake up every morning, talk about trying to change things in the future, hope that this never happens to anyone again, bring awareness to this through our loss and I swear, I can visualize running to you and holding you again in Heaven. None of that brings you back and has us celebrating your 3rd birthday and all your accomplishments and milestones with you physically here with us. My memories sustain me but on days like this, they just aren’t enough.
Watch over us today. We’ll be watching for our signs from you. We’ll send you balloons. We’ll carry on. I’ll make the most of my days and my time with those I love. You should know though that I’ll forever miss you and love you from here to Heaven and back again and tomorrow, I’ll go back to trying to change the world in your honor and memory.
But today, I cry.
Love you my little man,