11 months ago today. I am not one for huge anniversary recognition, especially now, in the heat of summer when I am challenged to identify correctly the day of the week much less the actual date, but here it is. It doesn't feel any different than yesterday nor I suppose will tomorrow feel anything more than pretty much the same, but still it stops me to think that 11 months have passed and here I sit, still breathing.
The days have melted together and time has slipped away, life has gone on without him, even though I thought it might not. My thoughts are still with him, the loss of him, every day. I don't often fantasize about him, who he might be, what he might be doing now, how our lives would be with him here. I suppose having dealt with way too much death in my teen years, I have grown accustomed to the permanence of death and the futility of wishing I could change it's course or it's finality.
I don't let myself pretend that he might have been born alive, or that he might have been doing all of the things his cousin is now doing, sitting up, cutting teeth, laughing, smiling, loving. I won't torture myself with those fantasies because I know they were never ours to dream. Never ours to have.
Which isn't to say there aren't things that will shake me to my core and upset the gentle balance I have found in these days. Seeing my kids with their cousin, hearing my kids hope for a happy ending to this current pregnancy, hearing his name, seeing pregnant women...blissfully ignorant pregnant women, walking into an ultrasound room, all of this will bring it back to me in brilliant technicolor. The enormity of the loss, the gaping hole that will never be filled, the part of all of us that is always missing, no matter how much time we put between us and that god damn date.
I have been thinking a lot about the scene in the movie Somewhere in Time, when Christo.pher Ree.ves, after successfully traveling back in time and falling in love with Jane Sey.mour, reaches into his pocket and accidentally pulls out a coin from the present day he had left behind. He is ripped from the past and pulled, with his true love screaming in the background, into the glaring light of the here and now. Desperate to get back to her, he does everything in his power to recreate the moment in time where he left her, he discards all things that remind him of the present, all things that would signal to him that he has left her in another time, and lies on the bed chanting the date and time he wishes to return to.
I don't lie on my bed chanting the date and time, I don't want to go back there because I know I can't bring him here to me, here with me. For me, the magic coin moment is walking into the ultrasound room, it is hearing my kids say his name or seeing them laugh with their cousin. Only I am not pulled away from them and thrown into the future/present day. I am propelled backwards, thrown into the feelings of the past, the desperation and hopelessness of knowing there was nothing I could do to change the direction my life was headed. Knowing I was the mother of a dead child forever, that no amount of time travel could ever take me to a place where I could change that one thing. That one thing, my child, is gone. His life will never be more than those 21-23 weeks he was with me. That is all of him I will ever have.
With this pregnancy in its 23rd week, I am desperately afraid of accidentally finding that coin, of picking it up and looking at at and finding myself right back where I was, 11 months ago. I avert my eyes when I see loose change, especially pennies and I NEVER pick them up. I know it's crazy, but I am scared to death of them, pennies that is.
11 months, 11 days, 11 hours, 11 years. It doesn't matter, he is always as near to me as he ever was, as he ever could be and he will never be any closer to me than where he is right now. Somewhere in time.