Last year really sucked. Not like the year before, when it was happening, but it still sucked. I was so sad to not be having a big first birthday party for him. What would I have bought him? What theme would we have had? Handy Manny? Pooh? I'll never know. Aidan got a swingset and a Mickey Mouse party for his first birthday. Three weeks later he got a brother. Who he never met.
I still go around and around with myself, did I do the right things? We didn't let Aidan go to the hospital and meet his brother. He was not even 13 months old yet when Landon was born, there's no way he'd remember it. But I would. I could have had a picture of my 2 boys together. But I don't.
Aidan asks about the pictures I have on my walls of his brother, and I just say, "That's your brother Landon, in Heaven." I know as my kids grow up, I will have to give more detail. But for now, that simple answer suffices. When Landon died, I swore to myself and to my son that he'd not be the kid that grows up and tells people "Mommy cries a lot." I swore that I wouldn't get so hung up on what I've lost, that I lose site of what I still have.
I can love and enjoy, and be happy with Aidan and the girls, and still mourn my Landon.
So, as I was saying, I survived those bad few weeks. I want to talk about the word survive for a minute.
From Webster's Dictionary online:
Definition of SURVIVE
: to remain alive or in existence : live on
: to continue to function or prosper
Look at the first part of each definition. For 1, it's to remain alive or in existence. So, in the onbituaries, Larry and I were listed as survivors. For definition 2, to continueto function. We functioned, but barely. We remained alive, but we didn't truly LIVE for quite a while. We just survived. The only joy we found was in Aidan. Before Landon, we found joy in everything.
But, time is a great healer, and God is the great physician. My faith that I will see Landon again has helped me a lot.
I would feel guilty if I found myself enjoying anything at all. I couldn't do things we did before. I hadn't missed a Monday night softball game (church league) but there was some woman there who would ask every week, "you've not had that baby yet?" and I couldn't face her. I avoided a certain cashier at the grocery, because I was afraid she'd ask where Aidan's brother was.
I don't remember when things started to get better, but they did. It was so gradual. It was in no way an overnight thing. We went to Tennessee three times last year, once before the bad weeks and twice after. Being away, getting away from everything except for our little family, helped so much. After the third trip was when I ended up pregnant with the twins.
Now, this year, the bad weeks were a lot easier for me to survive, but that isn't saying that I didn't mourn. I want to think that Landon would be proud of me. So many other mommies who have lost their little babies tell me that I give them hope and that they admire my strength. I feel that everything happens for a reason, and I think it's a good thing to try to help others who are going through their own version of my hell.
Rest in Peace, Mommy's littlest son
Landon James Fletcher 6/22/09-7/6/09
God, I miss you