Monday, September 6, 2010
Meant to be
We're on our annual family vacation in the Wisconsin Dells for the long weekend. This was our trip, originally scheduled for June (thinking back, we made this trip for June, thinking about how far away August's due date would be) but had to reschedule - so here we are.
It's been fun to take Sadie to all the places we went to as kids - the Ducks, Tommy Bartlett's Exploratory, Pizza Pub, mini-golf, waterparks.
There have been many sad moments. Everywhere we've gone, I've thought of Sawyer. As Sadie bravely traversed giant waterslides, I couldn't help but think that I should be sitting with the moms feeding and cradling their tiny babies. But, I'm not. And I stare at them, wondering if they realize - wondering if they can see the pain and know my story just by looking at my face.
Today, we took Sadie to the Dells Mining Company. It's a cute little attraction where you "pan" for crystals, gems and other rocks. Whatever you find, you keep and if you happen upon a special stone, they can polish and cut it for you and ship it back home in about six weeks.
We got busy and found lots of big and small gems. Ruby, saphire, emerald - we found them all - and my birth stone and Sawyer's - a beautiful pink little crystal.
I wasn't planning on purchasing a stone, let alone getting it set and buying a necklace - but when I saw it, I wanted it.
The woman who was showing us all the stones and carefully describing each gem to us one at a time asked "Who is the June birthstone for?"
I told her it was for our son who passed away. Our beautiful Sawyer.
She looked up, with tears in her eyes and said, "My son died four years ago. Today."
The tears in my eyes couldn't stay put any longer and started streaming down my face and hers. We held each other's hands, as we shared this bittersweet, common bond.
I don't think these encounters are coincidences, but moments that were meant to be. I'm sure her heart was heavy with her child's memory all day long - as was mine - and we finally had a chance to both speak about it, something she said was the only thing that has helped.
I will keep talking as long as people are willing to listen. I want everyone to know what happened to Sawyer. I want everyone to know about congenital heart defects and how they take more lives each year than all childhood cancers combined. I want everyone to know that I gave birth to my son, prematurely at 28 short weeks. And most of all, I want everyone to know that my love for him will live on as long as I can share his story, and hope that his spirit brings hope to those who have lost sight of what's important in life.