Today Marcellus would be 5 months old...5 months. I should have a 5 month old to look after.
We did something special for him on this day exactly 5 months from his birth. We had a tree planted for him. Marcellus now has a spot in NC. It's been hard for us being away from his resting place, not to be there to take care of it. Hard not to have somewhere to visit that is just his. Well, now we do. The tree is part of a program called NeighborWoods (yes, we also thought the name was corny).
Today I was thinking about how I used to think parents the celebrated their babies' month birthdays were obnoxious. But I know I would be one of those parents. Without my baby even here I am one of those parents. But I can only imagine what we would be doing every month if he were here. I bet Mike would use it as an excuse to have cake. Every month on the 28th we would have cake. Maybe a different kind each month. We'd do something special together as a family, sing happy birthday, take more pictures than usual, and maybe even buy Marcellus a little something.
Now we have to find different ways to spend the 28th. Today we got him a tree and a plaque. Something he wouldn't have gotten if he were alive. We had the tree planted at 10:00am. He was born at 10:01am. Usually his time of birth isn't any different than the rest of the day on the 28th. Unlike his time of death, which I have broken down during every time. But today was different for some reason. Watching them put the plaque, knowing that the tree is only there because he is gone. I looked at the clock right at 10:01am and thought about how exactly 5 months ago I was finding out Marcellus was a boy, that I have a son! I held a handful of pictures in my hand. I just stared at the one taken minutes after his birth...Marcellus had reached out and grabbed Mike's finger while he was being worked on. I replayed those moments of his birth day. And as happy as those moments are, and they are the happiest...sometimes they hurt to remember, they hurt to think about. I want those moments back. Today at 10:01am, my heart yearned for those moments again. To hear my son let out a cry and the doctor exclaim, "It's a boy!"
After the tender moment I had we were on to finishing the tree planting. They already had the tree in the hole (because we picked the larger size), but we got to help shovel dirt onto it. After Marcellus was buried, we took a jar of dirt from his grave. Mike brought that jar today and sprinkled some of it around the tree. We will take a jar of dirt from the tree and bring it to MN to sprinkle on Marcellus's grave. That way, the two spots will be connected.
I left the species of tree up to Mike. He chose a maple tree. He told me he chose it because maples are really pretty in the fall, they're a long living tree, and there are a lot of them in MN where Marcellus is. What he didn't know when he chose a maple tree is the exact type of maple tree we were getting. The coordinator of the program started telling us about the tree and that it is an October glory maple. My heart fluttered a bit when I heard that. Marcellus was born in October and he is our glory baby!
After we were done shoveling and the plaque was in place, the workers left us to have some time to ourselves. I sat down next to Marcellus's newly planted tree. And all the emotions overwhelmed me.
I don't want a tree!!! I want my 5 month old baby boy to take care of. I don't want to worry if the nearby ivy started growing up the tree or if it has enough water during the hot summers. I want to worry about poopy diapers, breastfeeding and getting up in the middle of the night. I don't want a memorial tree! How did I end up with a memorial tree and my baby not here? How did this happen?
But this is our life and we try to find ways to memorialize our son. So now we have a tree. It's his tree. And that tree is there because 5 months ago today, Marcellus was born...because he was here. Because Marcellus is our October glory baby.
Marcellus, I hope you like your tree. Daddy picked out the kind of tree, but I think you may have had a special little hand in the. I do like your tree. I just don't want it. I want you instead. I wish I had no reason for a memorial tree. But since you're not here, I'm glad we have a spot for you in NC now. I hope you and Momma can have some moments there together. And Daddy too of course. We're even going to bring Perk there next time we go. Oh how I miss you my sweet baby boy. I miss you sooooo incredibly much. Mommy misssssssses you! Happy 5 month birthday my squirmy wormy! I was squeezing Marcellus Bear extra tight today, did you feel my hugs? I love you Marcellus, I love you my son!