It's been a rough month. October always hits me fairly hard. I know Winter is coming. It also is insanely busy. I'm almost always working in October, school, church is always busy, kids start in on their lessons (yeah, right). October is always riddled with stress in a way no other month is.
But the usual chaos was kicked off with a mind-blowing realization for me.
Noah would be twelve.
My son, Noah, died in pregnancy at 16 or 17 weeks, and he was delivered on October 1st, 1998. After I was induced, I held his little, beautiful body in my hand, admired his perfectly-shaped hands and feet. Jeff and I got to say goodbye to him, grieve him, have him cremated, and have a memorial service for him.
When we were still in California, we'd go away on his birthday and do something nice for us, because it was always a rough time, and we felt the date coming before we even were aware what was making us out of sorts. Somewhere in that process, we'd release a balloon for Noah. We stopped doing that when we moved here. I don't know why. Maybe because on the first October 1st in Indiana, our heads were still spinning from the travel, from being sick, and from moving in. But his birthday came and went without us noticing.
But I still notice. My husband and I usually do something, if only talk about it.
This year was different. Twelve. It doesn't seem like twelve years. Actually, some years it seems like fifty.
But when comparing kids, two years can be a big difference, developmentally. Ten years old is a lot different than twelve years old. But twelve is not a whole lot different than thirteen-only-four-weeks-from fourteen. And I have one of those walking around the house. Nope. Not much different at all.
And that really drives the truth home. I should be having two boys who are eating me out of house and home or who are obsessed with how their height compares to mine. There should be two boys who are looking at high school and beyond. And there should be two boys who bugging me to drive them to Game Stop and kicking the snot out of each other on the Wii.
What should be hasn't felt this tangible since I could imagine holding Noah in my arms. But this month, Noah's absence is very real.