Sunday, March 5, 2017

Marching On

I am wise to the bruising effects of March.  It begins with sleepless nights, fragile emotions and a stirring over silly issues that I would disregard during a different time.  Anything can trigger the reserve of tears that rest just barely below the surface.  My chest weighs heavy and I begin to stir.  At first I just think I am a little too busy, possibly frustrated with an issue the kids' are dealing with......No, it's March.  Next month is April.  April marks another birthday, another milestone representing the should have been, what was, and the never will be.

Every year I try to find peace with these dates.  I exist in two places.  There is always a struggle with how to share and honor the memory of Timmy, allowing others to visit my veiled existence.  Social media has changed everything.  Although sharing the most difficult part of my life in a place where we have all become so overly exposed and jaded is not something I am comfortable with, I use it in hopes that people will remember my child.  It's desperate and needy, but worth it if Timmy's name is spoken and people take a moment to reflect on that laugh, those twinkly eyes, and his incredible personality.   If I am exceptionally lucky it may render a story or picture that I had either forgotten or never knew existed.

My finger hovers reluctantly over "post".  I hit return knowing there will be that wonderful group of people, whom I have counted on relentlessly over the years.  I cherish their responses because they knew my child and have worked hard to support our family.  I have yet to find the words to express my gratitude for those cherished comments and often find,  regretfully, I cannot reply.  I do it hoping it will let my children know their brother was important and expressing emotion, even if it hurts and leaves you vulnerable, is healthy.  I push that button because I feel my sister needs to know her pain is shared and the memories of the good were real.  I do it to cope with those who have actively tried to forget.  That is the most painful. Timmy was too loved for me to allow for that and to them I suggest they grow a pair.

Some people I am sure do their research to see what took Timmy's life and then cross it off their list of concerns as to if it could happen to their own child.  We all do that, right?  Once I had a young mother tell me how she would have never let the doctor's miss such a thing.  I handled it well, I did not punch her ........wait, that doesn't sound very nice.  I did not express my internal reaction to her insensitive and ignorant comment.  Better?  I did go home and "unfriend" her.  I never said I was mature.  Then, there is always that one person who means well and decides to inquire, share or express at a large event with lots of people present.  I am still not at the point where I don't cry each and every time I speak of Timmy so these occasions I don't appreciate.  The people who put themselves out there to offer a kind word or ask me about the child they had not met are sweet and I am grateful for those moments and thankful when presented in a more intimate manner.  I know it takes bravery to inquire and offer support.  Even if I cry, it's ok.  Maybe now they understand my strange response when I was asked how many children I have.  Definitely the most dreaded and painful question.

Today, I found the story below. It was written by Tyler when he was ten.  A little gift from the past to nurse me through March, along with four beautiful smiles I can see, voices I can hear and faces I can touch.  I love you.

He was born April 18.

I remember when she told me because it was the night before Halloween.
It was the night before Halloween when my mom told the kids-my brother Anthony, my sister Natalia and me that  she was going to have a baby. 

I was really excited when I found out I was going to have a baby brother or sister. It was hard to wait; I wanted to be born right away. 
We talked about the baby a lot during dinner and other times when my family was together.  We talked about what we’d name it if it was a boy or a girl. My mom liked the name Timothy. We all guessed how much it would weigh and how long it would be.  We talked about where the kids would go when my mom and dad were at the hospital.

Got home from school and she was having labor pains so my dad took us all to the hospital. Watched TV in the hospital room where Timmy was born. We felt excited that the baby was finally going to be born and we were hoping that he’d be a healthy baby when he came out. 
My mom was screaming really loud but she kept saying, “Don’t worry, Kids, I’m fine!” 

One hour later Timmy was born. 
He was the only one of us who broke his own water. The Doc had to break the water on all the rest of us.
We were going to do a thing where one of us would hold Tim first , one would cut the umbilical cord, and one would choose his middle name. The doc cut the cord, my mom thought of a middle name first, but I got to hold the baby first. 

The second he came out I got to start videotaping my mom smiling and laughing and crying all at the same time.  
I gave my dad the video camera so I could hold Timmy. I was the first person to hold Timmy besides my mom. 
The doctor poured some water over his head and cleaned him.

My cousins and some friends came right after Timmy was born. At one point we had 17 people crammed into a room, or 18 if you count Timmy! 

Tim, Mom, and Dad stayed at the hospital for two days. 
The first night I stayed with my neighbors across the street and the second night I stayed with a friend.
My mom and dad let me come to the hospital every day instead of going to school because I really wanted to be with Timmy. 
Every morning my Dad picked me up and I got to stay there all day. I got to hold Timmy and watch the few times he opened his eyes. This was a happy moment for me and my mom and dad. 

I even remember how much he weighed and how long he was. 

One of my  most special memories is my brother Timmy being born. 

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