It also can denote how much time has passed since your pregnancy ended, you gave birth to your son and he died.
At least for me, today, it does. Nine months ago...on a different Sunday, my precious boy left this earth.
How is it that he's been gone almost as long as he was with me? How is it that so much time has passed and I'm still breathing?
I went to Women of Faith this weekend with Nanci (will write more on that at another time...need some time to decompress, process, assess and reflect) and though I don't remember the context of this conversation, we were talking about how people say things like, "I don't know how you are doing it...if it happened to me, I'd ________________."
And the fact is that no one can really say how they'd react to something if it happened to them because honestly, one just does not know.
I'll tell you how I know this.
Before Matthew died, if I had contemplated what happened to us actually happening to us, I can guarantee that I would have said, "I would kill myself."
I've never been suicidal, never felt the need even in my darkest, darkest days to hurt myself and don't feel it is any answer.
But before Matthew died, I loved him so much that the thought of something happening to him truly would have made me consider it. I would have told you that I wouldn't want to live. And I would have meant and believed every word.
Some days, if I am really honest, I still feel that way...that without him, I just don't have that will to press on. Still don't have the desire to hurt myself, just don't have the will to press on.
Which is where the supernatural grace and mercy of God come in to play.
Because though I thought I would have wanted to die without him, I don't.
For nine excruciating months, I've pressed on. I've been given strength and ability that just defies logic and understanding. I've been given joy and hope and feel firmly planted on a path of restoration.
So when you look at me and see strength or bravery or courage or just about whatever it is that you see, please know it is not me.
It is solely the grace of God. Left to my own will and ability, I'd be nothing, have nothing and show nothing.
My heart aches at how quickly nine months have passed and yet how long the rest of my life without Matthew seems. While our time on this earth may be just a blink of an eye, when viewing it in light of not having your child with you for the rest of it, it seems like eternity.
Nine months of a new life I never wanted.
Nine months of learning how to navigate that life.
How so ironically it juxtaposes the 'nine months' of pregnancy.
Missing my sweet boy...