On The Eve of His Birthday [and you're not here]
This time tomorrow morning Remi arrived, after 10 days of labor, and 15 minutes of pushing. I note this not because it's important to the story but because HELLO, I felt like superwoman. 9 lbs, 4 oz. Big baby. He came like lightening and everything began to shift.
I didn't recognize it then. Perhaps I should have. I think I was so so consumed with the reprieve of a being no longer separating my pelvis and dislocating my ribs that I didn't notice.
After labor, I walked myself up the flight of stairs and into bed. Proud, anticipatory of revealing Remi's name (Remington Etienne Wesley) and showcasing my physical triumph (successfully this time).
A few hours later, you arrived to visit, mustering up all the energy you had for the day- just to meet the person I worked so hard to grow. Full of smiles, you visited- out of breath and weak. My heart was so proud that you'd made it to the point of meeting him in person, something none of us expected or anticipated. But. We knew, we all knew it was temporary.
Tonight, after cocktails on the back deck with Mimi, Bapa, and Nana enjoying the warm November weather and sunset, I realized today had been filled with emotions. I feel like I've been on the verge of welling up throughout the entire day and the reason eluded me until we were all together... You're not here. and you should be.
You would be SO proud of him, Papa. He's hilarious. He sweet. He's feisty and particular when he laughs there's no way you cannot laugh with him. Instantly I thought of Aiden, slightly older than Remi is now, learning to dance on the counter of our first home. If you know me, you know my kids belong on the countertop, involved in every aspect of what goes on in our kitchen. For her to learn to dance, guided by Papa, in our first home on our first countertop, was filled with the things Hallmark movies have sprinkled all over them.
The epitome of you.
I sit here, while Aiden takes a bath and Remi is asleep, on the Eve of his first birthday, craving your presence. You'd tell me just how quickly it goes, how proud you are of me, how weird it is that your children are grandparents, and how precious this time is together. I can hear it, profoundly in my head. I can see the way you'd stand in my kitchen. The clothes you'd wear. What you'd eat and how you would tell us the history behind birthday celebrations, etc.
I miss you. Terribly. My kids have no idea what they're missing. I know our relationship didn't flourish until I was an adult, but when it did it was beautiful and priceless and I wouldn't give it back for anything in this entire material world. For so many things, I am grateful. My complaints are few and when they are realized they are minuscule and unworthy of the good things God has given us.
Tomorrow I will wish you were here, all day. We will leave a place for you, feel free to dance along with us as we celebrate Remi.