The one about Michael

Today my precious Michael should have been turning 6. Graduating prep in a few weeks. Excitedly writing a Christmas list with his mis-spelt, uneven, oversized handwriting. He should be excited about having a party with his friends. The same prep kids I see at Jadis and Charley’s school in their tiny uniforms and huge backpacks who tear my heart out every time I see them. They should be the ones happy to be coming. To celebrate with a child they never even knew existed. A child who often feels, even to me, like he never existed. But he did. I had dreams for him. For us. For me. I thought I would be celebrating a birth not a funeral. Awake at night with an unsettled, crying baby, not eyes swollen with tears, in a house that was eerily quiet. I should have been looking at his hand me down clothes, fondly remembering them being worn by his brothers. Instead i having them in the back shed, where I am unable to even look at them as they are now tainted with memories of the boy who never wore them, not just the ones who did. 

6 years ago my innocence was shattered. I never knew a babies heart could stop beating before they were even born. That was something hidden away at the back of a book in the small print wasn’t it? Not the things you see happen in real life. Not the ones that happen to you. And even if I had known it was possible it could happen to me, I could never have imagined the life long effects it would have. 

I never knew it was possible to miss someone you didn’t know. But I do. I hear people use his name for a different child when I’m out in public. I kiss 3 sleeping heads each night instead of 4.

I realise that this doesn’t go away. It doesn’t get less. It won’t get easier. I learn to adapt. I keep things to myself. I cope without outwardly freaking out. My tears mostly fall on the inside, occasionally overflowing down my cheeks. 

This week I’ll visit the cemetery with a picnic like we do every year. A cake and candles, parents, brothers and a sister to sing happy birthday. 

But this week, like every other, I’ll remember you. Wonder who you would have been. Brown eyes or blue? Blonde hair or brown? Imagine your smile as you run out of school with your first birthday award. The smiles as you opened your presents. Your exhaustion after your party, and your eagerness to get up the next day and keep on living life full of energy like a 6 year old should. 

I will remember you, just how you were, it’s all I have. Like a mother should. Like any mother would. 

The one where you buy your kid a garden ornament. 

I got a beautiful message today from my BFF and my heart holder. She was delayed in LA by 24 hours and had decided to head to Disneyland. Did I want anything? Was the crux of the message. She meant particularly for Lyra. Which I got. But what do you buy for a child who has passed away? It’s still nice to include them but it’s never easy. 

 

 

We’re a big Disney family, been a few times all the way from here in Australia. First time we went I was pregnant with Michael. We bought him plenty of beautiful baby things. All of which sit in a box high in the wardrobe. That box contains some of the most precious things I own. The things he will never wear. Never grow out of. Never use. What a shit box. What a precious box. The things in that box are all we have. 

When we went to Disney world in Florida, we bought him a garden ornament for the cemetery. Who buys their kid a bloody garden ornament as their present from Disney world? How fucked up is it to think about that? 

What’s worse than that? That now I have 2 of those shitty boxes. I now have one for Lyra too. Filled with all the same things. Except in pink. And that totally sucks. 

For her due date I bought her a garden ornament too. A hummingbird. It’s gorgeous and I love it. Made of pretty coloured glass and beautifully curved metal. It looks lovely with the sun shining on it. In the ground. Above where she lays. Instead of an “it’s a girl” balloon and a pretty going home outfit she got a garden ornament. From bunnings. Not many people buy newborn gifts from there. Unless you’re like me. Part of the worlds crappest club. With the worlds best members. And own a shitty box or two at the top of the wardrobe.