21 years ago today I gave birth to a little boy named Christopher Thomas. Christopher never took a breath outside of my womb but I miss him just the same. He lived and grew within me for 6 months. Even though I was 16 and scared to death I loved him, was in love with him from early on. Laughing when he first had the hiccups and then thinking he would become a kick-boxer or soccer player the way he moved all the time.
Christopher would be 21 this year. Had he been healthy and born on time I would likely still be in mourning today, wondering what he'd be like, if he went to college or had a special someone. We planned to give him to a wonderful family who would love and take care of him better than a 16 year old girl and boyfriend who'd probably not last another year together, let alone be good parents. He was never going to be mine. But he's always been mine, he's always been near.
I used to get glimpses of him as a 5 year old boy, dark hair, brown eyes and onry as the dickens. Then a few years back while celebrating one of my friends' son's 15th birthday it hit me that he was the same age as Christopher would have been. A skater boy, dark shaggy hair, deep brown eyes. This Sunday on the way to church it hit me that Christopher would be 21 this year. It's hard to imagine me with a 21 year old son. Yet, it doesn't seem so scary now. He'd be a young man, hopefully near finishing his college degree. Philosophy? Science? Pre-med even? Or maybe religious studies...like his mom.
This has been a hard birthday. I've been a mess since Sunday. Thankfully I have an especially wonderful husband and sister. My sister, Amanda, drove 3 hours this morning to be with me. She knew I was in pain. Unfortunatley she knows my pain as she lost her first daughter just 6 weeks after she was born. Today we cried we laughed. We loved our dead children.
Yesterday was Merkin's birthday, today Christopher's, and Friday will be mine. Most years aren't this rough. The freshness of the pain ebbs and flows in no particular pattern or rhythm.
Happy Birthday Christopher, I've always loved you and I always will.