It started in August. I knew September was coming. Then it got worse during the Huricane Katrina anniversaries. I had been in Arizona visiting my father, still pregnant with the twins eating a dozen sausage a day. I prepared for my sons 2nd birthday, remembering all the difficulty I had had the previous year.
Each day I got closer to September 22nd was worse. I found myself crying at the store, jealously staring at twins, and avoiding life. I spent the entire week leading up to the 22nd trying to get friends and family to blow off work for some "retail therapy". I guess it didn't help that my son, Connor, started school. I had extra time to remember what was and what will never be.
I was lucky enough to receive a few cards, emails, and even a plant. People remembered my sons and that was more than I could ever ask for.
On Friday, September 22nd, 2006 I convinced my husband to take us to Disney California Adventure. I took Lainy Ann out of school. We went to the cemetary to drop off balloons and flowers. I took muffins to the L&D unit of the hospital and thanked them for being so kind to me. And we had fun the rest of the day.
I would have moments of panic though. At the top of the ferris wheel I was so afraid it would break and the whole family would die. On the rockets I was afraid my daughter would fall out and die. Vivid images and fears. I had never been afraid of these rides before. Maybe 'death' was just my theme for the day - it was on my mind.
But at day 366 I feel like a veteran, guiding those 'new' loss moms through the pitfalls of mourning and grief. I remember asking those veterans for advice in my early days. Now I am one of them. I don't miss them any less, I still ask "why?", and my heart hurts, but I feel like a pro now. That this is part of me. I now know how to remember my sons and live for my kids.
Our last big step is ordering the headstone. Its a big step. I'm scared. And I guess eventually we will have to tell the kids about their brothers in heaven. This year, fortunately, was not that year. We explained to Lainy Ann what the cemetary was, but she never asked why we were there and who we were visiting. I am thankful for that.