So March has rolled around, and I have been both looking forward to it and dreading it. It was never planned this way, but the anniversary of Parker's due date, and the age of our baby in India at the stage my son’s pregnancy was when I lost him are coinciding. It seems like his one year anniversary was so long ago. I suppose the difference in time is a reminder of just how early he came. Our mailbox has become the central point for this anxiety as Parker's baby registry was sold to MANY companies. We haven’t received any mail for a long time regarding his registry until recently. Now every day, the mailbox has been inundated with: "Your toddler should be doing this….. So buy this….. And celebrate his one year birthday with these decorations or at this fun play time place." And just when I begin to think it is all over they keep coming, much like Vernon Dursley getting Harry Potter's Hogwarts invitations.
If you lost a child, it is hard not to daydream about them still being here with you - to imagine them walking around your furniture, playing with Duplos, swinging on a swing, pulling your dog’s tail, and all the little things toddlers do. But it’s a slope I must be careful not to slide down. When I spend my time mourning memories that never happened, it becomes difficult to focus on the joy and love my world has to offer. These flyers in my mailbox don’t remind me of what happened - how you can be reminded of something you think of so often? But they do nudge me down that slope, I try so hard not to go down.
I don't remember who wrote it or where I heard/read it, there is a story that has brought me comfort. I hope those in our blog family dealing with loss will find some peace in it as well.
There was a little beetle that lived in a village of beetles on a lily pad. They had a great life and would dance and sing. But sometimes, one of the beetles would crawl to the top of the lily pad never to be seen again. The village knew the beetle died and this made them very sad. Eventually, the beetles carried on with their lives, found joy, and began to dance and sing again. Then one day, our little beetle protagonist felt an urge to crawl to the top of the lily pad. When he got to the top, he could feel the warmth of the sun so he settled down and took a nap. When he awoke, he was transformed into a dragonfly. He stretched out and began to fly around. He could feel the sun dance on his wings and it was marvelous. He swooped and soared, and it was so much greater than anything he had experienced in his village. Then he thought about his beetle friends: Should he go back and tell them that it was ok, that he was fine, and life was so much better? But after realizing how great it was for him to discover this himself, he decided not to deny the same experience to his friends. So he soared off- happy!
As great as birthday parties, Duplo fun time, or pulling little Winston’s tail would be (well maybe not for Winston), I much prefer to think that Parker is like the little beetle experiencing so much more joy than is possible on our proverbial lily pad - somewhere off in heaven, soaring his wings.