Sometimes this blog calls to me. It’s like an itch that must be scratched. I feel a need to write here, to continue Cora’s Story, but sometimes I just have nothing to say. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I’m staying away from writing about Sandy Hook. It isn’t about me. I don’t want to lure people to this blog on the memory of the children that passed away. And there aren’t any words to write about the horror of the tragedy.
Many times with me, something will weigh heavy and I won’t know what it is. I won’t be able to see clearly, sometimes not at first and sometimes not for months or years. Tonight, an email from Amazon.com helped me see just what it was that’s been there, the unsaid but much felt.
Cora and I, we should be getting preschool ready. I’ve wrote before how close that alternate reality is, the one where Cora lives. It feels like it was supposed to happen, and that this is some cruel mistake, so much so that it weighs on my mind.
Just like I continued to produce milk for her after she died and even though she was gone, still woke up on a newborn feeding schedule, my body and soul know that I’m supposed to have a three year old here. As moms, I think we’re programmed into our children. They are a part of us after all.
When a baby dies, grief lasts our entire lifetime because we grieve for the world that just slipped through our finger tips. I’ll always and forever think, “Cora should be going to kindergarten this year” or “Cora would be celebrating her sweet 16.” Each one of those milestones will hurt because I feel like they should be happening. I can imagine them. I feel like she was supposed to do all of those things and they were taken from her.
That’s what makes this grief so different for me. Sure, I had a similar type of grief when my dad wasn’t there to walk me down the aisle and when my grandma wasn’t there to call me on my birthday, but this is different.
Cora’s death is always active to me. I’m missing out on something every day. Her first hair cut. The first time she spent the night at Grandma’s.
I don’t let me self think about it all the time. Once in awhile it will invade my conscious thoughts, like last week when the dogs, Ben and I were all curled up on the coach, I could almost feel the little spot where she should have been wedged, my entire family together. I thought about her curled up not as a newborn, but as a toddler we let stay up after bedtime because we were too comfortable as a family to move her. She grows up, somewhere, even if just in my heart, Cora is growing up.
Even though I don’t let myself think about it all the time, it lingers there. It’s very real. It’s not something that not thinking about will make go away, just like I couldn’t will myself to stop waking up every few hours on a newborn schedule.
So my body and heart know that Cora and I should be getting ready for preschool. Education is important to me. I know I’d have all sorts of educational games and activities, full of fun. I know I’d be that annoying mom. The one that beamed when Cora said her ABCs to strangers in the grocery store and encouraged her to belt them out to all the family members.
Our days would be more structured by now, if that’s what Cora needed. We’d read and play and go to reading time at the library. Maybe she’d take swim lessons this summer.
I don’t know why Amazon sent me that email. They have all sorts of algorithms and send all sorts of related product emails. I’m sure they noticed my searches for pregnancy and baby related items when Cora was born and perhaps surmised it was time. Maybe they sent out to everyone they’ve identified as a mom in their system.
It stung to see that in my early-morning inbox, but I’m glad they sent it. I’m glad that I could sort through this in my head.
My mind might have been denying what my heart and body knew, but indeed, we’re getting preschool ready, only without our toddler.
I waited until I was almost done writing this to read that email. As I looked through the educational toys, cute little back packs and organic snack packs, tears started to fall over my lower eyelid.
I didn’t lose my baby over three years ago, I lost part of every day of the rest of my life.
Cora and I, we’re getting preschool ready.