We're out of town again. Back in the Midwest. This time the main reason for the trip is a wedding. The wedding is in WI, and actually not all that close to where Marcellus is in MN but a whole heck of a lot closer than NC! So of course we combined the trip with a visit to my hometown.
Actually, Mike has been out of town since Saturday. He is the best man in this wedding, reciprocating the duties for his best friend that was the best man in our wedding. He came up early to be part of the bachelor party and spend some time with friends he hasn't seen in a long time. It was our first time away from each other since Marcellus died. And that was hard. Hard not to have the comforting arms of my husband, the father of my sweet boy to hold me during those tender moments. He was even gone over the 9th...the 8 month mark of being without Marcellus. Now last month I didn't even realize it when the 9th rolled around. This month I was much more sensitive to it. I'm teaching summer session right now and so very aware of the dates. And with Mike being gone I was even more aware with how lonely I would feel.
But we survived being apart. I flew in to MN late Tuesday night (flight was delayed so it was extra late). I spent Wednesday with family and visiting Marcellus. Mike came to my mom's on Thursday (his birthday). We got to spend some quality time with Marcellus and take care of his spot. His headstone is finally set and grass seed has been planted. Because the dirt is exposed his headstone was very dirty. We got to wash it off ourselves though. We got to do something for our baby boy.
And this morning we had to leave for the wedding in WI. For awhile now I've been saying I don't want to go to this wedding. It's nothing to do with the bride and groom. They are great friends of ours. It's what this wedding should be. It should be Marcellus's first visit to the Midwest. But instead he's been here since November....buried in the ground.
The couple got engaged shortly before we found out we were pregnant with Marcellus. Mike used the upcoming wedding as a way to tell his friend about our pregnancy. He said, "you're going to have to change our invite from two to three." Marcellus would have come with us to this wedding. Mike's parents were invited and I immediately had it all worked out in my head. We would either share a room with them or get rooms next to each other. It would be our first big event and time out since our baby would be here, so I planned on asking Grandma Jean if she would watch him later in the evening. Give Mommy and Daddy a little time to let loose. We were so excited to know when we would be able to show our baby off to all our family and friends in MN/WI. July...everyone would get to meet our baby in July.
And that didn't change when he was born early. Maybe we would have been a little more low key with him on the trip, but we were still going to make it. At eight months old he would be past the first six months that are the riskiest for preemies. And he'd have an adjusted age of about six months. We didn't really talk much about the wedding when Marcellus was alive. We really had no reason to and we were so focused on our son.
Then he died. And his first trip to MN was to be buried. Not to a wedding. I don't know when we started talking about this wedding, but I knew both of us were in a way dreading it. Instead of it being the first time most people would see our baby boy, it's the first time we are seeing some people since his death. And seeing people for the first time is hard. You never know how they'll be.
I've also been thinking a lot about what it's going to be like at the wedding ceremony itself. To see two good friends take the vows Mike and I took almost two years ago. To see them starting their life together as a married couple and think back to that moment in our relationship. That moment that is so full of joy and hope for the future. I'm already tearing up thinking about them saying "for better or for worse" or whatever version of vows they may use. We had no idea. No idea what "for worse" could really mean.
Another thing, weddings are happy events. There is nothing sad about a wedding. How am I going to handle being around so much happy? Do I need to act that happy too? Because truth is, I'm not. I mean there are happy things in my life for sure, very happy things, but I'm still very much hurting. Hurting for the baby boy who should be eight months old here with us for this wedding. Hurting that his Grandma Jean didn't need to come to the wedding to watch him because he's being watched by the Angels instead. Hurting because this isn't going to be the first time Mommy and Daddy let loose, instead we will probably retreat to our hotel room early.
And with that the festivities are about to begin with rehearsal dinner. I don't know if the bride or groom reads my blog, but if you do please know we are so very happy for you. We still want to be a part of your special day, but it's hard. Everything is hard. It's hard to not be juggling all of this with an eight month old.
Dear Marcellus, we should be figuring out how to get ready and what to do with you during all these events. Grandma Jean should be here to help us juggle you and the wedding duties. Mommy should be worrying about what I might have to drink for this rare occasion to be out. Instead I'm worrying about if people will ask us if we have any kids. I'm worried about if I start crying during the ceremony. Of course people cry during weddings, but I'm afraid that if I start I won't stop. Because it won't be for the same reason as everyone else. It won't just be those happy tears for the couple (although there will probably be some of those mixed it), it will be sad painful tears that Mommy and Daddy's vows "for worse" have been tested to the max. That you are not here. We're glad we got to visit you so soon to the last time we were in MN. We love and miss you so very much sweet boy! xoxox.