Today I went and just sat at Zac's gravesite. Took my fold up lawn chair and paper and pen and just sat and wrote Zac a letter. I take him letters/cards all the time. Milestone days, days where I just want to share my words with him...
One year ago today was Zac's funeral. I am down to my second last "one year ago" marker.
I remember waking up that morning thinking how this was all so terribly wrong. That I was going to somehow walk in to that church and hear "it's a miracle...Zac is breathing." I know...totally irrational thinking of a desperate mother.
Instead as we drove up to the church and walked through the doors, I didn't know how I was going to move one foot in front of the other. How was I going to face all these people? How was I going to face that tiny white casket at the front of the church? How was I going to watch our tribute video that Brett made, and listen to the tribute I wrote? How were we to walk down that same aisle where we walked down almost 13 years ago to get married...the happiest walk of our lives...now the most agonizing?
Yet...I did it. Yes, my legs shook like frail, smashed up leaves. Yes, I wept. Yes, I felt like my heart was forever gone. Yes, I was afraid wondering if during the service we would get another panicked phone call from the NICU regarding Evan. Yes...I was broken and weak and tired and oh so very angry. How can I express the agony and anger I felt?
I never knew so many tears could fall from ones eyes...yet they did. And do.
Brett was going to be the only one carrying out Zac's casket after the service. I was still recovering from my c-section and had a hard enough time walking let alone carrying a casket. Yet...at the last minute just seconds before the service ended I leaned over to Brett and tearfully wept "I want to carry him with you. I am his mother...I NEED to carry him with you. It's all I can do now."
And even though it was the most agonizing and heart ripping experience...I am so glad that I did it. It was the final act of me as a mother to my son. My final way of caring for his needs. But placing that tiny casket in that herse, was one of the worst experiences of my life!
I wondered how I would face people after the service. How was I supposed to thank people for attending my sons funeral? How was I supposed to stand in that receiving line hearing over and over "I am so sorry".
And yet again...I did it. Not without scars, not without pain, not without tears. But I did it. Thank goodness for some friends who rely on the value of sillyness to help one crack a smile. :)
And then through the day of the funeral I held anxiously to my phone praying, begging that the NICU would not be calling with another blow to us. And...it didn't.
I remember asking the girls...the nurses...to "please give Evan extra love today. Today is his twin brothers funeral." And...they did! They made him a "Happy 1 Week" Birthday Card. They definitely loved my little boy for me that day. And the second I could get back to the hospital...I did.
While I was visiting Zac's gravesite today another woman came to the childrens area. It's called "Little Angels"...very fitting. Just a few plots down from Zac. She said hello to me with a tear in her eye, as tears were pouring down mine. She spoke to her little grand daughter, told her she loved her, had a little visit and placed a rose on her plaque. She shared with me the sadness of her grand daughter...stillborn. Then she asked me who I was visiting. I told her about Zac, and Evan and their journey. We chatted for a while. We noticed a new addition to our "garden of angels" between her grand daughter and my son. No plaque rests here yet, but there were three pictures of a precious little boy displayed. He looked like he lived for days/weeks...I'm not sure, but he was in a onesie in one picture with no tubes or wires. I don't know his story, I don't know why his mommy and daddy had to say goodbye...but I found myself wheeping for this little sweet soul. Before this grandmother left she came over to me, gave me a hug and told me she was so sorry for what I was going through. I thanked her. She has no idea how much I needed that today. No idea how desperately I needed another person who understands this pain to just hug me...a complete stranger.
I continued to sit in the sun and the chill of the wind and talked some more with Zac. And then it was time to go home.
It is never easy to leave the cemetery. I leave my sweet boys body every time. And I hate that. Even though I know that I carry him in my heart every second of every day.
When I got home, I scooped Evan up, hugged him, kissed him and played with him. Then bundled him up and put him in his stroller and we enjoyed a beautiful walk together. These moments mean the world to me. Although I always ache watching him playing alone and jabbering alone and napping alone...I pray that my love will fill him up to overflowing.
My boys are my heros. My boys have taught me so much. My boys continue to teach me so much every day.
Since I am able to give Evan extra long cuddles and kisses, I am asking God to give Zac an extra long cuddle and hug. Asking that He tells my son how very much I love him.
Today a stranger reached out to me. Today a stranger validated me. Today a stranger made me feel...understood. Today a stranger did not back away from the discomfort of a sad situation, and she reached out to me. Today a stranger was my angel. I thank her for what she gave back to me today!