As Luke sits here in his swing beside me, fast asleep, I can’t help but think about how far I’ve come.
Today is November 4th, our first baby’s due date. Today would have been William’s first birthday. And yet, if he had been here with us now, Luke wouldn’t be. It’s a bitter trade, and you can’t really play the “what if” game in this matter, it’s just too much to bear. But still, it makes you think.
I miss my child so much. I think of him often.
Today is bittersweet. Loss is loss, no matter how many living children you have. I’m still sad. I still wish things had been different. But I love both of my babies equally, and I am beginning to accept how it all came together — even though it’s a trade no mother ever wants to make.
Luke is here. William is not.
I love this poem, the author put it so perfectly…
An Ugly Pair of Shoes
I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in the world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some, have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some, have worn the shoes so long that days will go by,
before they think of how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of the shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
I wear these shoes and always will, now that William is gone. I am forever changed by my loss. But I think of him and all I feel is this overwhelming love, after all that happened last year. I love him so much.
But I love Luke too. And I have the privilege of being Luke’s mother, here and now. So I just want to be the best mom to Luke that I can be.
And today, on November 4th…that’s enough for me.
I’ll always miss William. I’ll always protect his memory. And one day, when the timing’s right, I’ll tell Luke about his big brother. Because William will always be part of our family.