Some days I forget you’re gone.
I skip the tall, skinny mocha because I don’t want to overdo it on the caffeine. I practice self-control and deny myself the cookie dough. I caution your siblings not to tackle Mommy like they normally would.
I see the dates marked on the calendar—written in pen—that keep track of how far along I am. Almost halfway. It’s getting close, so close.
So very far.
I can’t bring myself to scribble through those dates. So they remain.
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Some days I forget you’re gone. I reach down to touch my stomach and wonder when the flutters will start.
They never do.
On the days I forget you’re gone, I pick up baby clothes in the store. Sometimes I almost put them in my cart. I make plans to pull old clothes and bouncers and swings down from the attic.
They’re all still in the attic. Gathering dust.
On the days I forget you’re gone, I look forward to future family Christmas cards where your dad and I are finally outnumbered. I work out the logistics of who will sleep where and anticipate sleepless nights.
I wasn’t wrong about the sleepless nights.
Some days I forget you’re gone, and when a friend announces her due date, I almost blurt, We’re due right at the same time! Instead, I will my throat not to burn and celebrate the life growing near but not in me.
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Some days I forget you’re gone, for just a moment.
But then I remember.
I hate remembering.
I remember, and then I drink the coffee. I eat the cookie dough. I wrestle with your brother and sister. I set the baby clothes back down. Because you’re gone. You’re gone.
But then there are those special days. The God-given days.
Like the one when your 2-year-old sister walked up to me and stated matter-of-factly with a grin, “I have a sister.”
“No,” I told her with a smile, “you have a brother. You don’t have a sister, Silly Goose.”
She turned serious and looked me in the eye. “Yes, I do,” she said, her voice steady. “I have a sister.”
The truth of her words sliced through my heart. I have a sister. And that’s when I realized.
I’d forgotten. Forgotten that you’re not gone after all.
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You’re not here with me. You’ll never flutter within me or kick me in the ribs. You’ll never be placed in my arms or rest your sleepy head on my chest. You’ll never nestle against your siblings in a Christmas card picture or wear the sweet outfits I’d already set aside for you.
But you’re not gone.
You’re just already home.
And someday we’ll all be together in the place prepared for us before the beginning of time.
And it’s on those days, in those moments, that I don’t mind remembering so much.
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