It must be said.
Before I say it, I apologize in advance (Gina, borrowed that from you!) because I know I am bound to offend someone.
Someone who really meant well.
Someone who honestly is happy for us.
Someone who had no intention but just to express their gratitude for the joy in our lives.
Someone we may know and love and are grateful to have in our lives.
And I’m sorry if you or anyone you know is that someone.
If I don’t say it, though, I’ll burst. I’ve had it on my heart since Wednesday. Probably longer, but our television stints (seriously, Luke is just as precious and adorable on TV as he is in real life, isn’t he?!) have brought up the exact circumstances about which I must speak. Or write, rather. And I've always tried to be honest...especially now for Luke. I always want him to know his mother's heart.
We do not have a 'happy ending'.
Tons of people (and truly, we are honored, humbled and amazed!) saw our TV coverage and shared the links on their blogs/Facebook pages. Each time, because I was ‘tagged’ or ‘mentioned’, I was able to see the posts and the comments of friends of friends of friends.
And we saw SO MANY things like, “Sad story, but glad it ended well,” or “Heartbreaking, but at least they finally have their baby.”
Ahem. We had two babies.
We only get to raise one. Well, we pray each night that we continue to get to raise one. We know there are no guarantees.
As grateful as we are for Luke…for as much joy and happiness and sheer bliss he brings into our lives…our Matthew is still dead. I still mother a grave. My first-born is not with me and I miss him so much every.single.day.
I don’t think that’s a happy ending. I think there really *isn’t* an *ending* to our ‘story’ (save when I take my last breath, maybe).
So, do we have a lot of happy in our lives? Absolutely!!
A happy ending? Not so sure. To me, that implies that we had a struggle; Matthew was born and died and that was a ‘bump’ in the road, but now we have Luke, so we finally had success!
I know that’s not what people mean, and I feel bad even saying anything about it because I do KNOW that the intentions are not to hurt our feelings.
The thing is that it sort of does. It takes me right to the heart of where my emotions have been lately--in that it sometimes seems that Matthew is forgotten because Luke is here. All the hopes and dreams for Matthew just got transferred right on over to the son who is living and can fulfill them. When people ask me (and of course, again, I KNOW it is well-intentioned and NOT ever meant to hurt us!), "Wasn't it all worth it?" (With all, I assume, being the infertility, the treatments, the attempts to adopt, trying another cycle after Matthew, etc.)...I can't answer, "Yep, sure was, because Luke is AMAZING!"
Yes, Luke IS amazing. I love him more than I can even put to words. I did not have ANY idea that I would be so utterly in love with him. I can't imagine my life without him.
But is he 'worth' Matthew dying?
How could any mother be expected to answer that? One child dying to pave the path for another? No, I don't think it's worth it. And I think I'd be a horrible mother if I was ok with Matthew not being here if that's how Luke had to come to be.
Though Matthew died, he WAS SUCCESS! He was our first miracle! He was precious! He was perfect! He was sweet, sweet, sweet and I loved every thing about him.
He made me a mother.
His death doesn’t allow us to have that ‘happy ending’ to a loooooooooong road of infertility, but neither does Luke’s birth—because I’ll never observe a Mother’s Day with Luke without remembering that I, as Linda so eloquently said in her interview, carry one child in my arms and one in my heart.
Our story hasn’t ended…it’s sad and joyous and heartbreaking and redemptive, but it isn’t over.
We live it and are grateful for it every day.
Here are the links to the segments.