A Forgotten Date
Early one morning last week, I was sitting at my dining room table, still half asleep, scrolling through my phone when it hit me: I had missed it.
This was the morning of February 7. It was the anniversary of the day we said goodbye to our daughter. February 6, 2020, had come and gone without a flicker of recognition of the day.
As I got ready for my day, I was filled with thoughts that I can only describe as a mini panic. What did this mean, that I could miss such an important day? I even had scheduled a Through the Heart meeting on February 6 without ever making a connection to the date. Did it mean I was forgetting? Did it mean I didn’t care as much? In that quick instant, I felt like a failure. How could this happen?
There was a time when February 6 was a date I never could have imagined forgetting. It was seared into my brain. And although I am confident there are snippets of that day that will never leave my memory, apparently I am no longer tethered to a date on a calendar the way I once was.
Now, I know that the baby herself will never be forgotten, but the pregnancy, the loss, and the aftermath have become more of one big jumbled event instead of a series of dates and milestones.
I feel the theme of my writing lately has been about allowing oneself some grace. And yet as much as I write about it, it doesn’t come any easier. I have a lot of thoughts about what I could have done differently over the years while coping with our three losses even though I know I can’t change the past and dwelling on it does me no good. But every now and then something will trigger a thought, a memory, and I wonder why I didn’t handle things differently.
This has been a tough parenting week for me and I’ve really been letting the stress of it all affect me. But as I thought about this blog post this morning, I realized that my toughest day parenting is still easier than February 6, 2013 – the day I walked out of that doctor’s office without my child. And regardless of whether I remember that specific date, I will always remember that day, and nothing will change that.