So yesterday was 24 weeks with Luke. One could say (although it's different, the whole weeks/months/gestation conversions) six months.
Today is 10 months without Matthew. One could also say 40 weeks.
In just a few days, the time I had with Matthew will be less than the time I've had without him. That hurts. I knew it was coming. It looms every day as the 28th of November comes. I've been reading (though I am SO behind in my Google reader!) about women remembering this very time of year last year...or the year before...feeling the same things--how they were so close to bringing their babies home; what to do for a birthday now?; how has this much time passed?; just so much confusion and disbelief still, even though every day there are so many things that hammer the reality home.
So my pressing thoughts (well two of them, there are a couple of other big ones, but I am assuming John would prefer me to hold off on thinking about them for a bit) are what to do for Matthew's birthday and what to do for a Shower/Sprinkle/Party for Luke.
Which, coincidentally, will be most likely be within a week of each other. Honestly, I sort of feel that's best--like the faster you take the band aid off, the better. Same for the more intense things you can squeeze into a shorter amount of time, the faster you'll get through them and not really have enough time to think about how intense they really are. Of course, that's all theory.
For Matthew's birthday, it's the weekend of Thanksgiving and we'll have family in. Lots of it. I am really, really glad for this. John's finishing the basement bathroom; we're picking up a couple of more beds for the bedroom downstairs and it will be, for at least a few nights, tons of hustle and bustle. I love that...that's how I've always envisioned holidays--just envisioned them with more of my children adding to the mix.
Anyway--I don't feel like throwing a big birthday party--I think that will just hurt. Matthew's funeral was really such a big gathering of so many people, and the service was not just mourning but a message...we've had lots of support over the last year, and I just know that there's no way I could ever even begin to repay anyone for that support, so to try and do so would be physically and mentally exhausting.
I'd like to do something for our hospital, but honestly, they are so wonderful, I don't know what I could even offer.
I'd like to do something for Georgetown, but that will not be logistically easy and again, I don't even know what.
So...the only thing I know I want to do for sure is send out Remembrance Cards. One of my big regrets was that I never sent out birth announcements, and that sweet baby deserved them, no matter what my state of mind was. He'll get them for his birthday.
I have absolutely no idea what we'd like to do for Luke's party. I know the idea of a shower for a second baby is one that stirs up so much controversy. "Showers are for new moms or first babies only."
But my shower wasn't wonderful because we received so many lovely gifts, though we were really blessed with gifts.
My shower was wonderful because it was celebrating the joy of the most precious little life growing inside of me! There were smiles all around and laughter and joy just filled the entire afternoon. And it was for my sweet boy and the excitement we all had for his life.
And I want that for my Luke. He deserves that, but more than whether or not he deserves it, as his mother, I want that for him. I want him to know he is loved, loved, loved and joy over his life could not be any greater.
But what to do? We obviously don't need anything for him. We have his bedding and nursery decorations to buy, some more cloth diapers for his stash, and we might ask Grandma for a video monitor for Christmas (we already have the AngelCare, but I think I'd like video as well...). Other than those things, he's pretty set in the way of things needed.
I just hate that my second son doesn't really need anything because he gets (by default) all the new things his brother never got to use. That tears at my gut. I'm grateful we don't really need anything, but again, as Luke's mother, I'd like for him to have some things that were thought of because of who HE is, not because his brother is dead and left a whole bunch of stuff.
And again...I've heard the whole, "You'd use Matthew's things with Luke if Matthew had lived..." about a million times.
I would. But it wouldn't hurt. It would be joyful as I watched my TWO little boys play together and think about happy times in those outfits and with those hand-me-downs.
Everything that was/is Matthew's and now is/will be Luke's is bittersweet...so I guess in wanting some things just for Luke, I'm wanting to have just some sweet for a change...and lose some of the bitter, if I can.
Suggestions have been to have a party to celebrate Luke and have any gifts people feel inclined to buy donated to a local charity. That smacks too much of something I'd ask for to remember Matthew, not necessarily to celebrate Luke.
Or a "Welcome Luke" party after...which I'd LOVE...if it wouldn't be right in the middle of cold and flu season.
I asked John (who is REALLY gung ho about all this) if he wanted to do a 'couples' shower/party. He said, "No." I asked why and he told me that he felt showers were things girls liked to do.
This made me laugh for several reasons.
One, that he even says those things.
Two, because I believe that he's hoping that while 'girls' are doing something, 'boys' will get to do something else--something fun like fishing or watching a football game on his monster screen.
Three, because I think he's still retained enough innocence (don't know how) to think that anything we'd do for Luke would still have that silly (and blissfully ignorant but wonderful!) feel to it--where we'd measure my stomach with toilet paper or play Pin the Paci on the Baby.
I think those days are long gone.
So...at a loss. For a lot of things. It's just been one of those days. Again. And they seem to come more and more often. I think that's inevitable as Matthew's birthday comes up and Luke's due date follows...
I didn't post a picture yesterday because John didn't get home until after I'd written Luke's update. Here's 24 weeks--believe it or not, the yard in back is wet with RAIN! Hallelujah!