the little moments. little holidays. valentines day. easter. the first day of summer. mothers day. fathers day. fourth of july. the fourth of fucking july.
What does a dead baby have to do with independence day? And why am I still writing about a dead baby?
Well, I thought I’d slip through the crack of July and be on my way to a new land. A land of a little less grief and a little bit more fun, perhaps. A marathon was a huge accomplishment, surviving for 6 months was a feat and I thought I’d be riding the wave of high from that for a while. Really, though who was I kidding? Grief has got me in a headlock and I am at it’s mercy.
Since the end of June, I have been floating in out of sleepless nights, where all I’ve been dreaming about is babies. Baby girls. Tiny babies. Friend’s babies. Friends sharing their pregnant bellies. Birthing babies who need a few extra smacks to bring them to life. Holding my breathe, bawling my eyes out. Endless baby dreams, or really nightmares. Waking up night after night breathless and crying. Babies on the brain, you get the idea.
So, then the fourth of July rolls around and guess who starts knocking at my door? Grief. I started off the day recapping my dreams to Scott. I let myself get emotional, something I haven’t done in what seems like a while. I could tell he felt bad. But from there, in Kelly fashion, I moved forward and let the day roll on. Overall the day went pretty well. Sunshine, a large body of water, food shaped floaties, BBQ, cartwheels, booze, in n out, my family all in the same city. Next on the list, basically the only thing that makes the fourth a July any different from other holidays… The Firework Show.
Our city puts on a pretty good show, we have actually never gone and watched it. It seemed like a great opportunity this year, since everyone was together and it would make the holiday complete. At this point, to be honest I was pretty intoxicated. I should of went to bed at this point.
We decided to walk to the firework viewing point which is a mile from our house. For what felt like the entire mile, stroller after stroller went by, jogging strollers none the less. (A couple week before Benjamin died, Scott and I had bought and put together our dream jogging stroller. Something we were really proud of and excited about. We never got to use it. I returned it the week we got home from the hospital. Jogging strollers get me a little emotional now.) Family after family with young children followed along. I’m usually pretty good at controlling my emotions and can get through uncomfortable situations but again, grief…
I could feel the emotions boiling inside me. As we sat down to enjoy the show, all that I could hear was children laughing, toddlers oohing & ahhing and just like that the waterworks show started simultaneously with the firework show. All I could think was this was supposed to be Benny’s first firework show, this was supposed to be our first summer together as our own little family unit, we should of been a little less intoxicated pushing a jogger stroller with a 4 month old baby, but instead our son is inside of a metal heart, on a shelf, in our spare room. My daily reality, that I mostly push to the back of my mind.
Thank the universe for Scott, because he just gets it. He hardly shows his emotions but when I express myself he just gets it. He let me cry and ruin his firework show. He never once showed any annoyance with me. He held my hand and power walked with me the whole way home, where again we were met with strollers and cute little families. & that is how my fourth of July went this year. I cried myself to sleep and woke up the next morning feeling awful about how uncomfortable I probably made everyone when we got back to the house.
The year wasn’t supposed to go like this. I never saw my life coming to this. I didn’t start this blog to write about a dead baby. But here I am…
The stupid thing is, about two weeks before this we went to a local park and watched a firework show with some family and friends, with hundreds of kids and families around. I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE, ONE OF THE BEST NIGHTS IN A LONG TIME! I mean, Scott and I commented on how much better it would be if Ben was with us and we were jealous of everyone around us. Like we often are. I guess my grief decided to take the night off, that night.
You just never know when it will sneak back up, but it’s usually when you least expect it. During the little moments you use to enjoy.