Dear invisible baby,
When people look at a picture of our family, the photo looks complete. They see a mom, a dad, a daughter, a son and, if we could get her to cooperate, the dog would be there too. But no matter how hard they look, they won’t see you.
Every time I look at a photo I know there should be one more there. One more baby, one more sibling, one more son. I wonder if you would be a people pleaser like your sister and give a big grin at the camera, or like your younger brother and purposely look away, trying not to make eye contact with the lens.
I wonder if you would look like them. I wonder if you would have their curls. Would you have blue eyes like your sister, brown eyes like your brother or take after your dad with hazel?
I imagine you there even though I have no idea what you would look like. The last images I have of you are this 12.5 inch tiny baby, whose body could fit in my hands with your long legs dangling over the sides. You had peach fuzz covering your wrinkly scalp and a little, pot-belly tummy.
I wonder how you would have grown if you had been able to. I wonder what you would like. Now, at almost 6 would you be your dad’s buddy and still a mama’s boy. Would you like sports, games and puzzles. Would you speak like me full of emotion or would you try to find the logic in all situations like your dad.
There’s so many things I don’t know about you that I wish I could have seen. But most of all, I wish other people could see you in that family photo. I wish that they could understand that even though we never really knew you, we loved you with all the passion and intensity that a parent loves a child. I wish they could see you and know you as a part of our family.
After almost six years, I still feel like I’m constantly battling to find ways to keep you in our lives, in my life. Somedays now, I don’t actively think about you and it breaks my heart to know that. Most days, I cover up the pain because that’s what you have to do to move forward in life. I’ve gotten so good at it now that whenever I’m hit by a wave of grief, I let it wash over me until I can shake it off and go on my way.
But in the quiet moments, I can feel you still.
Even though we might not have the relationship we would have if you were still alive, you are still there within me. And through the hurt and the pain, the love is still there just as intensely as it was when I first felt you kick inside of me.
If I close my eyes and push the world away, I can find you in that spot where you will never be invisible.
My heart will always see you in that frame, right next to your siblings and a part of our family picture. The world may never see you in that frame, but you will always be a part of my soul and a part of our family.
Note: June 20 will be my son’s 6th birthday. He died on June 19, 2011. June is always a hard month for my heart. To read more about his story, please click here. Be aware there will be photos of him. And find out what I’ve learned in this journey by clicking here.