I call them rememberings. My doctor uses another word. The term flashback brings to mind war veterans, victims of kidnappings and abuse.
I know exactly where I am. I can still hear the radio, the television. I can feel the chair and pillows underneath me. There are other things there too. An examining bed. An ultrasound machine. The sound of static in the air. No heartbeat.
It feels so raw, like my whole body is an open sore.
Anything can trigger them, and suddenly I'm lost in a world of rememberings. The sounds, the smells, the overwhelming sadness.
Someone told me the other day that they didn't want me to be sad anymore. That it makes them sad to think that I'll be sad for the rest of my life. The suggestion was even made that having a child that lives will somehow make me less likely to think of my children who are no longer living with me- that I won't miss them as much. A replacement child, I thought silently.
Don't worry...I lovingly corrected them.
Despite the fact that his death is all most people ever think of, Owen is not just his death.
Sometimes my rememberings are stuck on this tragic event, but those last few days of carrying Owen (after his death) are not all I think of when I remember my precious first born son.
Owen is a joy.
A rambuncous little boy with dark hair who spent most of his time kicking me in the ribs and pushing his butt out as far as he could. Everytime I rolled over in my sleep, he would push back against the bed as if to say, 'Mommy, seriously, I was sleeping just fine until you woke me up.' The first time I felt him move (and knew it was him) was after drinking a peach and mango smoothie at work. Yes, in the same chair I was sitting in when he died.
I have so many memories of talking to him, making up songs about him (my favorite song is entitled 'I'm a naked baby...'). Chris and I sang hymns together and read him so many books. The one I remember the most is Where the Wild Things Are. I laid with my head in Chris' lap, his arm around me, my arms wrapped around Owen.
I'm not going to give up my sweet memories of my son just to get rid of the bad ones...I will remember them all. together.
And I will remember the God who held me that dark November 6 night. The night I thought my heart was being crushed...the night I thought I would surely die.
I will remember the God who gave me a precious son to carry 35 weeks 5 days, who gave me the strength to deliver him three days later, and the strength to continue living and breathing two years after I thought I would die of a broken heart.
It's all a part of the same beautiful story.