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Today was a really good day. It was my day off (I work 32 hours a week and am off on Wednesdays) and the weather was gorgeous - a beautiful September morning - cool and crisp with no humidity. My Wednesdays off with Lucia are usually jam packed with activities - often involving lots of driving to visit various people. Today was a day just for us. It was a much-needed break from the crazy/busy schedule we've had lately. We walked around the neighborhood this morning, we ate peanut butter sandwiches together, we went to the local town center where we had ice cream and Lucia played in the splash fountain, we came home and cooked dinner, she had a bath, then it was off to bed.
In addition to today's activities that I described above, we also had Lucia's 2 year well visit with the pediatrician. She checked out great - in the 50-75th percentile for height and weight - she's a solid one :) She does not like being at the doctor, and she let us know that...but all in all it was a good visit. I left so thankful - not taking this for granted for one second.
By the time I got Lucia down for the night, I was totally exhausted. Yes, it had been such a wonderful day, but I was "on" all day, because - with a 2 year old, there is lots of negotiating...getting from point A to point B is rarely an easy task...she likes to challenge and test us...so I was really feeling it by 8pm. After I got her to bed, I started thinking about how grateful I was to be this tired. I felt that I had no right to complain about my exhaustion...and in fact, felt compelled to rejoice in it. I reminded myself that THIS IS A GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE!! Of course I am human, and I know it's ok to vent about the trials and tribulations of parenting a toddler (and I do) - but it is so hard to really go down that road when I am constantly mindful of how much of a gift Lucia really is.
Tonight I was left thinking of what it is like for parents who have never struggled with infertility, loss, prematurity, or a child with a health problem. I don't doubt their love for their children - that is not my intention here - but I was more just wondering what it would be like. I was wondering what it would have been like had Marco been born healthy and full-term and had lived. Would I complain more at the end of the day about how tired I am? Would I have felt as grateful for him as I do Lucia? I'm not searching/asking for answers to these questions - because I know that there are none. I know we would have cherished him and loved him wholeheartedly - there is no doubt there. There is something in me now though...there is an extra something that is there that I can't put my finger on. I thought about how maybe that extra something is Marco - it's him loving his sister through me. It's his spirit running through me when I look at her and could cry because I can't believe I'm the mother of a healthy 2 year old child. I don't think it's fair to compare one mother's love to another - my love for Lucia vs the love of my neighbor for her children. I just was wondering tonight what would it be like had I been in that club - that club of mothers who never struggled to get their children into the world safely. As much as I would have loved to be in that club, I am not. My trajectory was forever changed in August, 4 years ago when I found out that Marco was going to be facing major health problems, and then even more so that October when we lost him. I would never be the same, and I would never be in that club. I am who I am today because of Marco. He has changed me. Lucia has changed me as well. I love my children both so much, and I am so grateful for each of them and what they have taught me. Marco, though not here in body, continues to teach me to be a better person, a better mother to his little sis. He is with me in my heart and soul and spirit. I feel his presence in a special way tonight, and I'm so grateful for that.
Marco, thank you for continuing to teach me as I continue on this path toward fully integrating the loss of you into my life. How I wish that you would have gotten a chance at a 2 year well visit, and could have run out of the office as Lucia did, so full of life - with a clean bill of health. I felt you smiling down on Lucia today - she was such a big girl. I love you, my angel.
Ben & Jerry's, yummy! It looks like Lucia had a nice time out with her mommy:) Libby, I have similar thoughts. It's so hard at times. I so believe that Marco is forever with you and his spirit is shining through those tender moments with your little girl. I often wonder what it would be like if things had been different. It hurts to let go of plans and dreams. I'm still learning to accept what is. These days, I feel like I have memberships to many different clubs. I like the ones that offer complimentary cocktails:) Hugs!
See you in a few weeks,
What a beautiful post, Libby. You are so right about this being our reality, our club. We don't know any different and we love with our whole hearts and yes, maybe you love a little more because you're loving with Marco's heart too. I kind of love that thought. He's loving his sister through you, through the patience you've gained through losing him.
Lucia is a gorgeous (solid, I love that) little girl who is so very lucky to have such an amazing mama and such a loving big brother watching over her.
Thinking of you,
I am always so thankful for the profound appreciation for life that Arianna has gifted me. Although I would most definitely give anything to have her hear with me I am without a doubt so grateful for the legacy she has left behind. No doubt that Marco's love for his sister resonates through you. I never get tired of looking at that sweet beautiful smiling face. She is such a doll. :)
That is a cutie pie!!!!! Love the pic and I think she loved the ice cream! I totally understand what you're saying about the wondering what it would be like. I often wonder the same things. Hugs to you---can't wait to see you!!
Our children change us, living or not. They do. The difference is that you have this amazing heart that allows you to see how very fortunate you are and I have to believe that had Marco been here, you would be the same! you'd be this amazing mother that you are to Lucia and Marco. You would have empathy for others and you would definitely shine. What would be different is that none of us here on Share would have you... Thank you Marco for giving us your Mama, because as selfish as it sounds I'm so thankful to have her here with us. Our lives are changed by our children.... no matter how they live, with us or in our hearts, they make us who we are, they're part of us.
She is soo cute and Lucia are able to have a little mommy and Lucia time together! We have been forever changed by our "experiences". I have always wondered (not that I doubt they love their children) if there is a different to the "norms" and those of us who have lost and/or watching our children struggle to remain in this world.
I am glad that you and Lucia*
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