Yesterday, as we were headed off to work in the morning, Steve told me something that made me smile all the way into work in my empty minivan. He told me that when he was in the office with the lady buying our "new" car, she referred to Sam and asked, "You have just the one?" I suppose the sight of us in a minivan does seem strange to people. I mean, just ONE kid, what do we need a MINIVAN for? Which makes me laugh at what people must think of me driving the silly thing to work all by my lonesome. But I digress...
Steve told her the truth...he said, "We have two, but our other son was stillborn earlier this year." She said she was sorry and changed the subject really fast (which makes me giggle for some reason...I wish I could have seen it).
Now, I could launch into a whole big analysis of how seemingly innocent questions can be hurtful and how unfair it is that we have to even consider how to answer them. But the thing about it is...I'm over that (for today anyway).
Instead, I realized how incredibly lucky I am. That's right, after seven+ months, I can see the blessings that remain in my life. I see that I have this man standing next to me who has never, not one single time, doubted me. He has provided me with never-ending love and support. He has faced some ugly truths about family and friends and he has never once betrayed my trust or confidence. He knows how I feel about everything and he accepts me in my entirety.
And he loves BOTH our sons.
I know it sounds silly. Of course he loves Sam and Alex. I mean, they are his children. But there was a time, right after we lost Alex, where I thought the rule of the day would be to move forward and pretend as though nothing had changed...as though Alex had never existed. Maybe not in private moments, but I surely felt that we would never be at a place where we would both be comfortable telling other people about our beautiful boy who is gone. In those first days, his focus was so much on finding "normalcy" again...and I was so afraid that normalcy meant forgetting (or ignoring).
But I see now who he is. An amazing father who loves me and BOTH his children. A man who isn't afraid to show other people that he is proud of us. We have come a long way to find our NEW normal. And now I see that it doesn't mean forgetting or ignoring. It means accepting with our hearts that we can trust each other to do what is right for ourselves...and each other. And regardless how other people may or may not behave, we will both love our children...forever. We may have missed out on a lifetime of memories with one of them. But the love is still there.