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Monday, August 23, 2010

13 Years Later

I am still grieving and still hurting, just not as much as I used to and I think that is a good thing.
August 22 and December 22 every year following 1997 has been hard.  You see, 13 years ago my first daughter was born and four months later, she passed away.  Her name was Theresa Marie and she was born premature weighing 1lb 7oz at 24 weeks.  I was sick with toxemia, pre-eclyampsia and hypertension - once I got to the hospital, there was no turning back, it was deliver her or possibly lose both of us.  To this day I am not sure how my husband at the time made the call about what to do in the situation.  I was close to incoherent and pretty unaware of my surroundings.
Since Theresa, I have had another daughter, Samantha, and she is almost 12 and is wonderful.  The beginning was rocky, she was almost a repeat of her sister, being born at 26 weeks, same problems, weighing in at a whopping 2lbs 7oz.  She asks about her sister all the time and always wonders what happened and is pretty inquisitive.  I told her this year she could go with me to the cemetery if she wanted, I was scared since she said yes, but at the same time, I was pretty excited about it.
We went, we talked, she didn't really know what to do or say, but she said she was glad she went.  She looked around for a 4-leaf clover, that made me laugh.  When we were done, we made a trip to Dairy Queen and then she went back to her dad's house.  All in all it was a good day and it was nice to cry a little, laugh a little and mourn at the same time.  I am pretty fortunate being a single mom to have some good friends who were there to support me, help with Sammie and hug me when I was down and crying.
I just wonder if after all these years will the pain stop?  Will the grieving ever be done?  I have gone to support groups, talked to a psychologist and done all the recommended things that parents should do when they lose a child.  I ask myself if I should stop the "routine" that I have been doing since 1998 or if I should keep doing it because it brings me peace?  I alter what I do a little every year, and every year the pain subsides a little faster and honestly, that scares me a tad bit.
Are there other parents out there that have experienced this kind of loss?
I am a fan of online communities for certain things, and that is one reason I love TMN, but when it comes to private and sensitive subjects like this, I like to know the person I am speaking/writing to and have some sense of personal communication with them instead of just typing back and forth - I mean who knows who you are talking to sometimes and if they are honest.
Anyone have any suggestions?
All I do know is that as a mom I find strength in Samantha's smile, laughter and joy.  She makes everyday a little bit easier and a lot brighter.  Being a child and seeing the world through a child's eyes is so hard, yet so simple.  I am a nanny for a six year old girl and a nine year old boy - when I have all three kids, it is so cool to see the things they create with their hands and how they interperet and hear things, so totally unique.
What I do know is 13 years later I am glad that I have experienced what I have and that I have enjoyed the life I have led thus far in my 32 years on this earth.  There is nothing quite as wonderful as being a mom, it makes me grin from ear to ear and laugh so hard, sometimes I just pee my pants!
Joelyn Morgan
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