As we approach Owen’s first birthday, we are left thinking of this time last year. A time that seems so far away, yet also so close. This time last year, a week before our son’s due date, the day he would start to make his arrival, the day before he was born. So much anticipation. So much excitement.
We thought we were invincible. We were naive. We did not know that it was possible our son might die, or we chose not to believe it. Besides, these things did not happen to our family. In the us versus them, it was always them. Always. I look at others and see this same naivety. However painful it is to see, they are entitled to it. They are entitled to their innocence. To bury their heads in the sand. To believe in odds and meaningless statistics. To think, with horror, of the them and feel the distance between. We did.
However, odds were on our side too. The unexpected can happen to anyone. It happened to our family.
This time last year, I was rubbing my tummy, giving my little guy, my Speck, one of his signature back rubs that can still be felt through the wear on the right side of all of my shirts. I wasn’t stood in the bathroom crying one minute, wondering what could have been, while lovingly thinking about and talking to my son the next. My mind was not in this constant battle between the sadness of loss and the happiness of my son’s continued presence in my life, desperately trying to push the latter to the forefront.
This time last year, we were putting the finishing touches on the nursery, a special place for our family to grow together in. We were talking about our hopes and dreams, our plans for our family life. Moments that were within grasp. Moments that we were told we would have, that we could have, that we should have if we did everything right. Moments that we still have, but that look so very different on the surface. Moments that we have had to tailor so that they fit the unique needs of our family.
Thinking about this time last year from the perspective of this year, I realize there are many things that have not changed. This time last year we were filled with so much pride and excitement. Our hearts, in sync and bursting with love. We were excited to explore and discover the world together. We could not wait to see what the future held for our family. While it isn’t what we expected, none of this has changed. We still can’t wait. We are still discovering, still exploring, still loving. Together, as a family.