Callie's Due Date
I woke up this morning with one crystal clear thought.
Today was Callie's due date.
Right before that thought had been a dream. But really it was a memory...
I sat in my first grade classroom, concentrating so hard on whatever it was that seemed so important at the time that I didn't realize I was pressing my stomach into my desk. Inside my belly, Callie pushed back against the desk so hard that I was scooted back a few inches in my wheeled office chair. I thought that was pretty funny at the time and told her I was sorry for squishing her. I can remember seeing that yellow striped sweater like it was yesterday.
She seemed so strong, so healthy, so... alive. Just right there beneath the surface. Ready to be born. Ready to live.
Later, after she was born and fighting for life, the doctors, trying desperately to understand how such a large issue could have gone undetected, asked me millions of questions: "Did you receive prenatal care?" "Did you take any drugs?" "Did you feel any decrease in movement?". I could answer all of the questions confidently, although slightly offended, except for the one about movement. I was so busy and stressed right before Callie was born that I wasn't paying attention that much. I knew I didn't NOT feel her move, I had countless videos of her squirming and kicking in my belly, and she certainly had a lot of hiccups (which apparently didn't count, who knew?)- but it caused me so much agony that I didn't know for sure if there had been a 'decrease' in movement.
However, I did remember that push. I remembered her pushing me back from the desk with strength and vigor and, perhaps, a touch of annoyance. At least I had that.
After I woke up, the memories from that day three years ago kept flooding in, taking my breath away with their clarity. I read an article about car seat safety recently written by the parent of a child who passed away in an accident. She said that the people who tell you that time heals have never lost a child. I couldn't agree more. It doesn't heal- it still hurts just as much. But I guess it is different after three years in some ways. Time has allowed this loss to become a part of our new lives, our new normal, our new reality. We have had time to learn who we are now and how to navigate the world. But it doesn't really make it any easier- just different.
This is a stupid thing to be angry about, but this morning after collecting myself, I found myself supremely jealous of people who can use the TimeHop app on Facebook with carefree abandon. Stupid, right? It's a neat concept- being able to see exactly what you posted on this date for the past couple of years- but the thought of seeing posts from three years ago and beyond fills me with sadness. I've never been able to bring myself to do it. It would be like reading about a stranger. Who is that girl? The girl who thought having babies was cute and fun. The girl whose biggest worry was how perfectly perfect her lesson plans were or having things checked off of a checklist. Who is that???
Nope, not for me. I'm ok right here in the present. I'm not that girl anymore...I have been changed forever. Consider this post my TimeHop for the day.
Today is all I have and all I can count on...even when my 'today' is hard.
If you are thinking about Callie too, please wear yellow on the 27th and 28th to remember her. You have no idea how much it means to us when people say her name and honor her life. It truly means the world. Please do an act of kindness. Give a hug. Spread some love.
It's nice to know that, because of her, the world is a little bit better and a little bit more sunshiny.