February 25. The day seems inconspicuous on the calendar: one small white square surrounded by twenty-seven identical friends. The glossy paper and bright photo hangs on the wall and subtly counts the number weeks since we said good-bye. A faint reminder of what could have been radiates from the blank page and I’m left wondering about things that will never be.
It’s a day that should have been round and ripe, bursting with anticipation and nerves, excitement and eager impatience. Longing and contentment wrapped into one as air fills tiny lungs for the first time and our lives finally collide in tangibility.
Life. Breath. You.
February 25: your due date, my sweet Kära. For one brief, summer moment our dreams had taken root and begun to blossom. It was the start of something beautiful, this family of five. We had been given a rainbow after the storm.
But instead, this day has been transformed into something barren and empty. It’s promises have fallen flat and we’re left without you. A tiny piece of my heart has floated away alongside my little girl.
Seven months ago my February baby became a July baby and arrived a hopeless 32 weeks too soon. We barely knew you were there before you disappeared. All too soon we found ourselves, yet again, holding nothing but crumbling hopes and quiet memories. Our children in heaven outnumbered the one in our arms. Our hearts had stretched and grown but no one could see the child’s name written inside.
Min Kära, my dear.
It seems like forever since we said good-bye.
This month should have been full of stretchmarks and back pain, swollen ankles and sleepless nights. I should be anxiously pacing the house, savoring these final quiet moments, and willing you to come out and meet us. I would have double-checked my hospital bag “just one more time” and squeezed in yet another floral printed onesie for you to wear. Daddy would be making jokes and nervously checking for signs that you were coming. He would have laughed and whispered to my belly, “It’s time!”
We weren’t ready for you in July but we would have been ready for you now.
We never saw you. We never felt you move. But given the chance to do it all over again, we’d still choose you. There are few joys that surpass that of having been asked to carry you for the entirety of your sweet life. It is my greatest honor to be your mother and to be able to call you my child.
I didn’t get to hold you in my arms but I know the One who does. I’ll never hear you call me “mommy” or get see your first wobbling steps, but there is great joy in knowing that you’re singing and dancing before the heavenly throne of God. I didn’t get to bring you home from the hospital but I will always find comfort in the knowledge that you’re home.
Your little life was brief but it was never trivial. I will always carry your memory in my heart; I will always hear your song carried on the wind. My heart aches and I miss you, today and forever, min Kära.
I miss you and I love you, little one.