I guess this will be a Thanksgiving post, so I’d just like to thank some people that I know will never read this because they don’t know I have a blog.
I am thankful to be alive. Just over a year ago I was in the hospital, and we weren’t sure if I would make it.
I am thankful for color guard, which has kept me going for a long time. It is the reason I get out of bed every day and how I survived high school. It’s also how I’ve made many of my closest friends. I found a family there, and they’ve gotten me through a lot.
To my sister Elizabeth, I’m grateful to have you in my life. For all the things we’ve done together, and all the long talks we’ve had on the phone, and all the times we’ve had those moments you can only have with someone you’ve grown up with, I’m thankful for you. To my Dad, who has loved and accepted me for who I am my entire life, I can’t thank you enough. You’ve taught me about football, you are the reason I did guard, and always one of my strongest supporters. To my daughter who sadly is not with us, but who lives on in our hearts. I am grateful to you because you’ve showed me what life is really about and how precious it can be. You forced me to grow up when I wasn’t ready, and having you for the blink of an eye when you breathed through my body was the scariest and most amazing time of my life. I will never forget you. But I now know that if I can make it through that, I can make it through anything. And of course to my mother. My dearest mother who has been there through everything. I am so glad to have the most understanding mother on the planet. You’ve been so helpful and so wonderful to me. I don’t know where I would be without you.
I am thankful to my “other” Moms, Colleen and Barbara, who have helped me with my miscarriage. They’ve both been through similar circumstances and I don’t know where I’d be without them either. I wouldn’t be here today without both of you. I met Barbara first, and she got me through my first mother’s day. Colleen helped me get through both school and life. She’s been there every step of the way and she still checks in on me when she knows times are getting rough.
It’s the little things. Pregnant women make me cry. Seeing a woman yell at her toddler in the mall makes me angry. Why are you yelling? Don’t you know how lucky you are to even have a kid? In my Methods of Social Research class we fill out fake surveys so we can analyze data, and the questions will be seemingly simple things like “What is your gender?” “How old are you?” “What state were you born in?” “How many children do you have?”
But I can’t seem to get through that question. How many children do you have. I don’t know. How many children DO I have? How many children did I give birth to? How many children do I have walking around? How many children call me mommy? How many tiny hands have grabbed my finger? How hard was it to sit there waiting for the doctor knowing I wasn’t pregnant? Right before the 2nd anniversary of my miscarriage you’re going to ask me how many children I have?
How many children do I have? One. But I’m forced to say NONE. That I have no children. I’m forced to sit in that class and answer in a way that doesn’t upset everyone in the class and make them uncomfortable and send me to the bathroom to cry.
I’m certainly not the only person with this problem. I know I’m not the only one who has had a miscarriage (or infertility, or stillbirth, or suffered the death of a child). But two years ago on November 16th, I had the worst day of my life. After finding out I was pregnant just two weeks earlier, I then had to unlearn everything that I had learned.
Last year for my anniversary, I took the day off, thought of my daughter, and donated blood. It seemed like the right thing to do. I’m not sure why, I’m not sure I’ll ever know why. I don’t have any plans for this year. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to think about it as much. Which is a good thing. I think obsessing over it for months beforehand like I did last year would be a mistake. Because I’m not going to forget about it. I can’t forget about it. It’s the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep.
So my dearest Leslie Ann, what can I do for you? How should I remember you? What’s the best way to preserve my only memory of you? I guess my question for other parents who are suffering is, what do you do on your anniversaries?