Thursday, July 15, 2010

Two years...

This week has been a roller coaster.
With what would have been Will's 2nd birthday quickly approaching on Saturday,
it is once again that time of year where we have been reflecting.
The question has been tossed around, "What do you want to do for Will's birthday?"

There is no answer.

There is no grave site to visit. Our baby is still here with us. His ashes are in a small heart shaped urn that most would mistakenly take for a paperweight.
It just wasn't in us to bury him...
And then if we had and we were ever to move...
I know we couldn't have left him here.
So he remains in our bedroom,
silently still a part of our every day lives.
The way it should be.

But on days like his birthday or anytime I want to do something special,
I am left wondering just what to do.
It never gets any easier, 
and this year is complicated.

We are so ready for our 2nd son.
And yesterday when I started having some random, slightly painful contractions
I kind of got anxious.
What if this baby is born on one of the two days I really don't him to be?
July 17th & 19th.
The day Will was born and then the day he died.
Those days are the only 2 in an entire year, that I really have a problem with.

I want this child to have his own day.
I want to be able to grieve Will on those days...
and not have to explain to my new son why mommy is both happy and sad if his birthday happens to fall then also.
But again, its not up to me.
A lot of people say, "Oh that would be special!"
I really don't believe so.
And instead of lying to make it seem better, I have to wonder if it was their family if they would feel the same...
Maybe if they were born on the same day, perhaps.
But I do not want this child to have to share a day with his brother's death.
Like I said, its complicated.

My body naturally knows that something is amiss right now.
It has been months since I woke up crying...
and I have moved past counting the weeks since I last held Will
to now counting the weeks until I will hold our 2nd baby.
Time changes some things,
but not all.
My motherly instinct leaves me crying more the last few days,
missing Will in ways that are hard to put into words.

Sure I'm happier than I have ever been in a long time.
But there is still that sadness.
And honestly, I believe there always will be to some extent.

In naming this baby, we had such a difficult time.
But we have finally decided.
And like everything else, there is a story behind it.
Its something I never really shared,
but to understand, it must be told.

Names are hard for me,
this is partly because I am a teacher.
And teachers have a hard time finding names because they associate nearly every name ever thought of with a student they either had, knew, or heard about in the teacher's lounge...
that is just the way it is:)
It comes with the territory.
Combine this with the fact that boy names are thus even harder for us,
when we became pregnant with Will we had one solid boy name we loved.

And so we casually tossed around other names,
but always seemed to come back to the "one".
Until all hell broke loose two years ago in March.
Suddenly we were faced with a new decision that left us feeling sick and guilty and all sorts of other unpleasant feelings...
this baby wasn't going to live.
Do we still use our favorite name? 
And the thing was, we felt guilty for even thinking this in our heads,
let alone questioning it aloud.
But we did question it,
because suddenly the name didn't seem right anymore.

Our first son needed a strong name.
A strong name because we wanted him to fight,
to prove everyone wrong...
and to live.
So we name him William James.
His first name after two people:
my grandfather who had fought in WWII and was a prisoner of war in Siberia for many years... and also a Capt. in the Marines that Tim had served with who was killed in Iraq...
His second name is also after two people:
This would be the only son of ours to share Tim's middle name, and yet again for another Capt. killed in Iraq.
And it just fit.
And he proved to be a fighter,
just like the men he was named after...

How do you choose another "perfect" name?
That has been our dilemma.
When I found out we were having another boy,
my first response that we were NOT going to name him what we had planned originally for Will.
It didn't seem fair.
In fact, I didn't overcome my guilt until one night the topic of choosing names for children came up at support group.
It turns out that a lot of parents felt the same...
and not only that,
they did the same thing too.
They didn't use a favorite or first choice name,
not because they didn't want their dying child to have it,
but because it just didn't fit under the new circumstances.

Now, I feel differently.
I absolutely love Will's name still to this day.
And we are going to honor Will, yet make sure our new son has his own identity.
His name is Jack Liam.
After all, he is still a part of this story that continues to be...
and even though Will died two years before his birth,
they are connected in so many ways.
And besides, we think its a perfect name for a little brother...


Cathi Heilman said...

My heart is so full of emotions for you!! I LOVE Jack Liam and I know it will be a very fitting name for your bundle of joy and a strong name just like Will!
I will continue to pray for you, Tim, and your growing family. I know this is a difficult time for you as well as a time filled with joy and new memories:) I hope we can connect on the phone soon...I noticed I missed you the other day:(
Cathi and Megan

Farm-o-rama said...

Julie, your writing is so beautiful and heartwrenching! I can't wait to meet this little guy and I love the name you've chosen. :)

Kristin said...

Love the name! Jack is one of my favorites....and I see a lot of baby names. :)

Penni said...

Thinking of you today. Love the name.

Pam the Realtor said...

Not having experienced the type of loss you have, it continues to amaze me how strong you are thru all of this. Perfectly understandable that those two dates would mean so much to you but not want shared either. I look forward to reading more of your blog when Jack arrives! Best wishes for a safe and healthy delivery for you and baby Jack.

A Big Group of Folks said...

Thinking of you today. I know it is an awful day.