So the other day, my oldest Matthew, who turned five recently, asked me, “How old would Emily and Michael be if they had lived?” I thought for a moment. Would saying their due dates or the actual days that they were born make more sense? And then I thought, I am not going to overthink this one, at least not right now. So I said in reply, “Emily would be turning one, and Michael would be a baby.” He responded with, “So, Emily would be one, and Michael would be a baby?” I said, “Yes, honey.” Matthew then went onto tell me how old Emily and Michael would be when he was six, seven, and so on. It made me realize that I wouldn’t be the only one doing that in the years to come.
Sometimes I do think to myself, “What day do I recognize as Emily and Michael’s “birth” days? I guess I would say February 8th and 12th. But there is a part of me that still sees their due dates as the days that they turn a certain age. Because if they had been born alive in February, they would not have been able to survive at such a young age. So, it is July 27th and August 5th that I will see as the days that they turn a certain age. But, I still celebrate the days that they came out of me.
I often times throughout this past year, would think about what “milestones” Emily would be reaching had she lived. When would she have started crawling, or had her first tooth show? Not that it really matters when it would have happened, just that it would have. I don’t get all “caught-up” in milestones anymore because I know that essentially it does not matter. Our boys here, Matthew and Ryan, are happy and healthy, and that is all I care about really.
Though I do wonder what Emily looks like. I remember the last ultrasound I had of her alive at 13 1/2 weeks. That ultrasound on the blog home page is of Emily. The foot shown there is Michael’s. Anyhow, I watched Emily put her hand up to her mouth and move her tongue in and out of her mouth. If I had known that would be the last time I would see her alive, I would have sat there all day in the ultrasound office taking it all in. I do wonder what Emily looks like. Does she have light or dark hair? Who puts pretty bows in her hair? She probably has blue eyes, as my husband and I have. What does her voice sound like? Her laugh? Those giggles. I pray that Emily and Michael give each other hugs and kisses every day, as I wish that I could do that too. I wonder who they play with, and what they like to do. I often times wonder who was there to greet Emily the day she died. I don’t even know that day for sure. And as I have said before, she was inside of me but I do not know when her heart stopped beating.
I miss Emily incredibly. I think about her every day, as I do with Michael. I wonder what Emily would have grown up to be, or dreamt of becoming. If she would have married, if she would have worn my wedding dress. I know her brothers would have looked out for her and after her. Even Michael, though younger, would have I believe. The ironic thing is, I picture Emily looking after Michael now in Heaven. I believe she was there to meet Michael the day he died. And I believe the two of them look after their brothers here on Earth.
I don’t believe the thoughts of “what could have been,” ever escape. They will stay with me through the years. I don’t think a July 27th, Emily’s due date, will ever come and go without me pondering what Emily would look like, who she would be, and where she would be in life.
I pray here and there, for a dream of Emily and Michael. To see what they look like, and I also would love to just give them a hug. I did have a dream about Emily, I believe, a couple of months after she died. There was a baby in a field of flowers with beautiful music playing. Her hair was dark, and her eyes were closed. Perhaps sleeping peacefully in Heaven. I woke up suddenly from this dream, and it was so vivid. The dream did bring me comfort. So I pray and hope for another visit from Emily and Michael some day.
I do love to plan Matthew and Ryan’s birthday parties. I love to see the smiles on their faces. All the time and energy is worth it for the priceless way that their whole face light up. So, I pray that someone up there in Heaven is putting on a fun and thoughtful party today to make Emily’s face light up and smile. Happy 1 Year Emily. I love you.