Two weeks ago was the second anniversary or Rayna’s day(s). July 25 is the day we found out she died, and July 27 is the day she was delivered. Last year, we went camping and we wanted to do something similar – to get out of our house and our usual routine and spend time together as a family – but not risk LT not sleeping through the night at a campground. Nick and I were fortunate to be able to take the whole week off of work, and we spent a few days at a friend’s cabin in the woods.
This week will mark the one-year anniversary of Rayna’s delivery day. Nick and I began wondering how to mark this day as soon as it happened.
This is a little late. It was meant for Mother’s Day, but I was lazy. Then for Memorial Day, which has now come and gone. Now, (the day after) Father’s Day, seems like a good day for remembering. In the time since I started this post, Nick’s city grandma passed away and we have laid her to rest. Rest after a long and full life. This woman lost her son and her husband within a few years of one another, yet survived and thrived for more than 30 years without them. She travelled, she laughed, she poked gentle fun. We certainly mourn her absence, yet I find myself celebrating her reunion with those she loved who went before her. Without ever saying it out loud to one another, we were united as bereaved mothers. We spent time remembering her crafts (pajamas, quilts, sock monkeys, bulletin bead necklaces, and more), her sarcasm, and her legacy.
Sure, it’s the title of a Nicholas Sparks book (that I haven’t read) and subsequent movie (that I haven’t seen), but it is also how it felt making the empty drive from my parents’ place back to our home. People often speak of empty arms following infant loss, though they overlook the empty bellies. This drive was originally supposed to take place after a baby shower and a babymoon trip to Colorado. I was supposed to be 34 weeks pregnant on this drive with a belly full of kicking baby, but instead I was holding a box. My belly was empty, and my arms reminded me why.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
– Psalm 61:1-4 –
Early in the afternoon, Rayna was outside of our hospital room for x-rays and other tests, which provided us a moment to take a break. With our minds having been elsewhere up until that point, we suddenly realized we were hungry and snuck in a small lunch. It was also during that time I began to again feel my legs… and my bladder. I had to GO! It took two nurses to help support me, but I made it to the restroom and back to the bed. It was a pretty funny scene, I’m sure.