Facebook has been flooded with “I’m thankful for” posts since the beginning of November. After losing a child, it’s hard to focus on all the things we really have to be thankful for. I find myself feeling the slightest bit guilty for feeling thankful. I know that’s silly. I know that we have many reasons to be thankful. But, when you start thinking about all the things that could have been, it’s hard to focus on all those things. I cringe at the thought of coming up with 30 things I am thankful for, but I thought I’d try to at least come up with a few…
- My sweet angel Carter. Words can’t explain how thankful I am that we got to spend 4 1/2 months with him when I know many other families don’t get that long with their babies.
- My amazing husband Jeff. Who would have known when we met 7 years ago on match.com that this is where I lives would have taken us. I’m thankful every day that I have him as my husband.
- Our baby girl that is growing in my belly. She kicks and punches me all afternoon and evening long, but I know it’s just so she can tell me she’s okay.
- Our amazing families. I’m lucky to have a family of my own that is supportive and in-laws that have accepted me as one of their own.
- Our amazing friends. We are blessed to have great friends that have checked on us frequently (in person, by phone, email and text) since we lost Carter…they’ve been there to cry with us and helped us to laugh when we needed it most.
- My co-workers. Many of them are more like family to me than co-workers. I’ve been at Piper since I finished college (in my 11th year there), so I feel like I’ve grown up with many of those that I work with. Because of them, I will be able to stay home with our baby girl through the end of the school year (and summer) and I will forever be thankful for that.
- Our family pictures that we had taken a year ago tomorrow. I pushed them back several times because I wanted Carter’s baby acne to go away first, so I’m very thankful we didn’t keep pushing them back. They were awesome and I’m so glad Annie was able to capture as many pictures as she did. Carter was such a good baby and so chill when we were getting them taken.
- The families we have met through SIDS resources/Facebook. It really sucks that we had to meet them the way we did, but I’m glad to know other people that have been through a similar experience as us. It helps so much to be supported by them and to support others as they go through this process.
- Our cleaning lady. No need to explain this one. 🙂
- All the “typical” things to be thankful for…a warm house, our cars, the food on our table, etc.
Ten is pretty good, right? I know there’s more, but these will have to suffice.
In the coming months it will be difficult not to relive every moment we had with Carter when he was with us. Last year, we celebrated Thanksgiving in Kansas City with my family. We usually drive to Illinois to be with Jeff’s family, but we chose to stay here to keep our new baby away from the germs of all the other kiddos that were going to be there. We were excited that we would be able to take Carter with us this year on that road trip. We leave tomorrow morning to head that way and while we are excited to see family, it will be bittersweet to be headed there without our sweet boy.
When we return from Illinois, it will be time to dig into all the Christmas “stuff” which is something I’m not looking forward to. It was so much fun getting to experience Christmas with Carter last year. I know what we will uncover and I wonder if I’m ready to find all of it…”my first Christmas” hand prints, ornaments, picture frames, Carter’s stocking… Instead of “my second Christmas” ornaments we will be experiencing our first Christmas without Carter. I’m sure it will be like the other days I’ve dreaded and it won’t be as bad as I expect it to be, but the anticipation is the worst. This too shall pass…
I know we will make it through and we will be “okay”, but I know there will be moments of sorrow and pain for us during the upcoming holiday season. The rest of this week, I’m going to try to focus on all the things we have to be thankful for…mostly the memories that I have of spending Thanksgiving with our sweet boy last year. I hope everyone takes time to focus on the things that are really IMPORTANT in life and be thankful for all that they have in the days ahead. You never know when things might change, so appreciate what you have while you can.