I made it most of the day today, most of the day away from the internet, away from Facebook. I made it from a brief post this morning, all the way till now, then I did something I keep trying to remember every year on this date not to do – I got online to check in with the world.
I scrolled through Facebook. I skimmed, trying to pass by the updates commemorating 9/11/01, trying to pass by the “never forgets” and the candlelight vigils. I need to remember to stay away all together, it would just be easier. But it’s almost like a test. Maybe this year will be the year it doesnt hurt. Maybe this year will be the year I can read some of the posts about 9/11/01 facts, history, trivia and not be wrenched apart. Maybe this year will be the year the two don’t mesh and the tears don’t come.
I want to be there some day. I want to be able to remember this day in our nations history and the massive impact it had on our past, present, and future. I want to be able to read why people want that photo removed and the story behind it. I want to honor the lives lost, and the sacrifices made with the reverence deserved.
But I can’t
The grief that rolls over me every year at this time, and of course most strongly today, mingles with the remembrances of the past and crash together in a tumult of tears, pain, sobbing, and snot.
The days leading up are not easy, every year there are posts and reminders about services and articles, but they aren’t so bad, they are fairly easy to bypass. Every year I spend the days prior reminding myself that the “what-ifs” won’t change a thing. That nothing I did was right or wrong. That it’s not my fault. I try to remind my daughter that it’s her brother’s birthday in a way that shows hope, love, and joy, that we can celebrate him just as we would for any other birthday. In the past we’ve even had small parties, we’ve had cake, released balloons, celebrated. I put on a face that doesn’t hurt, a face that focuses on the hope and healing found in Christ, but I’m still waiting for the inside to match.
Today though, today just hurts. Every time. It hurts. I try and keep it together, I try not to let her see me cry, because I don’t want to explain, to try and find words at a six year old level that part of mommy is missing. No not the part the doctors took out two years ago, but a part that wouldn’t ever show up on a CT or x-ray. Part of me that died too and went to heaven with her brother.
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
~ Elizabeth Stone
When you have a child that you can hug, and kiss, and love, and even do the things you don’t like about parenting you can still hold that part of your body against you, be close to you. When that opportunity is ripped from you, there is no way to put it back. I don’t have a God sized hole, I have a child-sized hole, and there are days where it feels like no amount of scripture, prayer, or music can ever fill it.
There is hope in suffering, there can be joy in sadness, and there is growth through trials and tribulation. But there is still hurt, still pain, still loss, and still the unanswerable why that sometimes just comes crashing down around you.
Today’s Facebook status that tore me apart “Read about it EVERY year….. pass it on to your children. We must never forget.”
Please, don’t forget, please pass it on, please remember, please don’t mind me and the fact that I just wish my 9/11 could be separate from yours but apparently never will be.