What a bittersweet holiday. A promise to Christians that we will see our brothers and sisters again through grace, a whisper that I will see my sweet son.
But the families line up outside, little girls in satin dresses and white hats, and the babies in stiched cotton, pantsuits for little boys or maybe a clip on tie. Shoes new or shined until they gleam. Cameras and cell phones raised by willing volunteers to capture entire families- and we can no longer do that.
I see little outfits that I would have bought for Perry to wear, feel a tightness as I go down the easter isle and see a little toy, or the babyfood isle that is parallel to my journey to the milk and see the easy dissolving treats I might have bought for his Easter basket. No cute 'my first Easter bib', that I set aside from Emily for him to wear with the matching rattle.
We buy flowers for a grave. There is an irony in that the only things I can buy for him now, a little boy would have little use for.
I almost always buy an extra, I avoid sibling rivalry even now. I want no resentment for Emily that Perry is dead, when somehow (miraculously) I did something right as a parent and largely managed to avoid it while he was here and Emily loved him. The biggest smile, the glowing face, of Emily in my hospital room as she greets baby is incredible. I see it in pictures even now. No Christmas had brought it out before, I never knew a child could glow and beam. Especially one normally as serious as Emily.
(In good moments I imagine this will be the smiles of reunion in heaven.)
The day before Easter is another day to us. Remarkable only in that we are resuming talks with the artist for Perry's stone. We cry a little as we discuss how tall he was- more than 27 inches because that was the Doctor's visit at 4 months, somewhat less than 32 because that was the size of the coffin. But not much, because they left his legs somewhat tucked as an infant would naturally. But we don't fully explain this, but we both know each of us understand because both my husband and I use the same two numbers. Really.... So when I talk about getting his last height and weight from an autopsy report, I have to wonder if it would be any less horrendous than how we arrive at our guess now. We think 30 inches.
What horrible thoughts everyday life stirs up. Your memory pools may run clear in comparison, sometimes we look normal. The silt is stirred up, and it turns jet black.
We cried a little when she asked us how he died, but my husband reassured her not to worry when we cry. Because when we cry we remember how happy we were.
Please God, let me be that happy again.