It’s been ten years since we lost you.
A sharp fragment still lives deep within my heart
that surprises me with a quick stab, stealing my breath for a moment.
But I am not sad today, of all days. At least, not yet.
When night sets in, and I close the door to my bedroom to go through your memory box,
I will let the tears come.
It’s cold and rainy today; the trees are creaking and the wind is howling.
It’s the weather that always reminds me of April, and of those horrible weeks
when we knew we were going to lose you.
I remember a cold and dark night, after you were gone,
waking up to see your father’s side of the bed empty.
I crept downstairs to find him gently cradling your teddy bear shaped urn and sobbing quietly.
My memory fails me now: did I console him, as he had for me time and again?
Or did I creep back upstairs like a coward?
I want to believe that I held him until he was calm, but I don’t remember.
Your little sister is here today because you could not be.
She is a joy in our lives and her spunky personality makes us smile even on rainy April days.
We got to hold her squirming body in our arms because you were born so still.
I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have you here with us,
a ten year old boy running through the house.
Would you look up to Jakob and wear his hand me down clothes?
What kind of mischief would you get into with your cousin who is the same age?
But these are fleeting thoughts, because I can’t truly picture you as a ten year old,
nor can I imagine our family without Valerie.
Your father gave me a necklace on the Mother’s Day after we lost you.
It’s a golden heart, with an angel inside.
I wore it for a long time, and eventually, when the pain began to fade,
I put it in a safe place in my jewelry box.
We lost another baby in January. Early on this time, so the pain wasn’t as raw.
Before we knew it, another was on the way. One who is thriving, growing,
and making me nauseous and chubby.
In a superstitious move, I will wear that angel necklace these next six months, without taking it off.
It makes me think you will look after us somehow. And we will be safe.
It’s been ten years, 120 months, 3,650 days since we said goodbye,
Since your dad and I held your tiny body, draped in a white dressing gown.
Since we printed the words ‘Some people only dream of angels, we held one in our arms’
above your footprints and put them in the frame that hangs on our bedroom wall today.