Today is the last of the monthly countdowns until Jack’s birthday. One month from now he will have been one year old.
I don’t know what next month will bring. I imagine that I will wake up on November 18th and will be able to recollect every moment of the day he was born. I also forsee reliving each of the following 40 days of his life up until his death at the end of December.
I have both positive and negative feelings about the timing of Jack’s birthday. When we found out our due date was Novemeber 27th, we knew that we would possibly celebrate birthdates on Thanksgiving. Instead, the one and only Thanksgiving we had with our son was in a hospital. Christmas was the same thing. In fact, it was on Christmas Eve that we were told that he would soon die. New years? His memorial service. To have had the chance to celebrate these holidays with our boy was a wonderful gift, but the incorportated sorrow has also changed the way we feel about these dates.
His birthdate on November 18th marks the beginning of the holiday season, and his death: the end. One year ago I was so eagerly anticipating the arrivial of the holidays, with all the food, family, gifts, and fun: not to forget the very special meanings of Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, I am not sure yet how I feel about the upcoming months. I forsee myself going through the motions of holiday cheer, and I especially see bold attempts at making the season magical for Megan, but I think that my heart will be with Jack this year.
Jack passed away on December 29th. After that date, all monthly anniversaries of his birth and death will probably become annual. Obviously, there will not be one minute of one day when I do not think about Jack and monthly I will have heart pangs on both the 18th and the 29th. And while I don’t know what to expect of the upcoming holiday season, I do know that I am looking forward to the New Year. I am expecting new strength and new hope and a new beginning: all the while carrying Jack in the largest chamber of my heart.
I guess it’s time to start thinking of ways to celebrate Jack’s birthday. I’m not entirely sure about how to go about doing it, but I do have some ideas. While there will probably be no “happy birthday” banners, there will be much celebration. The day that he was born was not “happy”, but one day: I will be with him again, and that is worth celebrating.