Today my girls Rebecca and Maria turn nine.
This past year I have been thinking a lot about Nate and Julia's relationship with their sisters. What can be an uncomfortable topic with adults has been readily accepted by our children and their friends.
I have seen many ways this idea of infant loss has been handled by others and their families, from complete silence to in-your-face acceptance. I do not judge as I understand just how personal a decision this is for everyone involved, but when Nate and Julia were born, our family had to decide how to handle this for ourselves.
I started asking those around me what they thought and I was moved and comforted by many of the answers I got. The one that struck me though was a quiet conversation where my friend told me about her brother. She was so calm and sincere in her conversation that it has stuck with me all these years. She spoke of how she always knew him and how he was always a part of her life. When I asked if it ever made her feel sad or different or uncomfortable, she said that it always made her feel special to have a brother who was looking out for her always. Her face just radiated the kind of peace and love I wanted for my children and so in her answer, I found mine.
And so Nate and Julia grew up always with a knowledge of their sisters. First the conversations only happened around July 10th, the girls birthday, and our birthday celebration. Then they noticed our tattoos and our conversations happened more frequently. As they have gotten older, their understanding has deepened, and I have gained a measure of comfort by seeing how easily Nate and Julia can speak about our girls and how much they truly are still a part of our family.
I see their peace and calm and love and I am comforted.
Today I remember. It would mean the world to me if you would take a moment to remember too. Rebecca and Maria, you existed and you continue to be loved.