Tomorrow is Wendell's due date. I have it penciled in to my daily planner. Maggie wrote on her Littlest Petshop calendar, for the month of December, "WENDELL'S FRST BRTHDAY."
But it won't be.
I'm in that strange place now where mostly, I'm ok. Really, I am functioning close to normalcy. No more nights of waking up sobbing or days of walking through an exhausted fog. The new difficulty to tackle is that it all seems normal - and this normal everyday life makes me question things. Did Wendell really exist? His birth seems like it was long ago, maybe even something that happened to someone else. Am I forgetting my baby? Already I don't think of him every minute or every hour. Will it eventually be that there are days at a time when I forget that I even had a beautiful little son who didn't survive?
I had rather a perfect encounter this week that showed me otherwise. I had been referred by a friend to a lady she said had been through a similar experience. When I called that lady, she told me about her son who she had lost two days after birth -- twenty-six years ago. In fact, this week was his birth day anniversary. As she spoke of her baby, she wept. Twenty-six years later, she wept remembering her long-gone son.
That was what I needed. Reassurance that never would I ever forget Wendell.
He was a part of my body for seven months, fused together with my flesh. He will be a part of me always.
We haven't yet picked out a headstone for Wendell's tiny grave, which is just a few miles away in a community cemetery. That stone seems so final - a last hurdle to jump, one more time that I know I will cry in public in front of strangers, just as I sobbed in front of the kindly wheelchair-bound funeral director at the funeral home as he showed us the tiny, tiny white plastic coffin that would be Wendell's last resting place.
How do you decide the words that will be carved into stone to tell the world what you felt about this tiny being who was there then gone? The words that keep coming back to me are "Always loved, never forgotten." Because that is the truest truth there is. I won't forget my son. Even if I'm not prostrate on the floor with grief every day, I will always be sad he isn't here with us, where he belongs.