I just got back from a trip to MN. Things have been crazy busy around here getting ready for it and then being gone. I'm sure this week being back and getting caught up will be busy too. But still I want to get back into blogging more (and my therapists thinks I need to write more too). I have so many things to write about even just from this short trip to MN. And October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, with October 15th being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. So even though I'm exhausted and wanting to just do nothing right now, I will write.
I left on Thursday morning, very very early, and just got back this evening. Of course the main reason for any trip to MN is to visit Marcellus's spot, but the reason this trip was taken at this particular time was for a good friend's wedding. After lots of debate we decided Mike wasn't going, which turned out to probably be best because he has an exam tomorrow. It's always hard to be away from him, and I hated that he wasn't getting to visit Marcellus's spot too.
Now regarding this friend's wedding, she's been one of my best friends since our fist year of college. We were roomies for a couple of years and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding. I was so excited for her when I found out she was engaged! I always hoped I would be in her wedding too one day. Well she got engaged toward the beginning of March (or somewhere in there). She called to tell me and asked if I would be her Matron of Honor! Oh how I wish I could have just squealed and said "Yes! Of course!" I know I would have if Marcellus were alive. Mike, Marcellus and I would have all made the trip. Mike would have had Marcellus while I was in the wedding. My mom was invited, so when she left she could have just taken Marcellus with her while Mommy and Daddy stayed dancing into the night.
But I couldn't answer that way. I couldn't because he isn't here and I didn't know what would be going on. We were struggling at the time to decide if we were ready to have another baby. I had no idea if and when I would be pregnant. I couldn't commit to traveling at the end of Sept because I knew I'd be high risk in a pregnancy. I didn't know what my restrictions would be. I just couldn't promise to do that. I also knew I wouldn't be the Matron of Honor she was looking for. I wouldn't be able to be someone to help make wedding decisions and plan special things for the bride. I wouldn't have been able to because grief is selfish and I wasn't (and maybe I'm still not) at a point where I be that person for other people.
We talked it over and we mutually decided it was best if I didn't. She even said to me, "I know I would be worried that you were doing okay." What a sweet friend to be concerned about me on her wedding day, but I didn't want that. I didn't want her to worry. She was to work it out that I would have some other special, but much more minute role for that day. I would still be involved. I would still be able to be there while she was getting ready.
Yesterday was the big day and it was a beautiful one. I did my part as "Flower Assistant" by helping with corsages and boutonnieres. I also picked up food for the bridal party and relayed some messages back and forth. It felt good to help, but it wasn't the same. At one point I walked into the getting ready room while the Matron of Honor and Maid of Honor were working on the final details of their speeches. That should have been me. I should have had a speech to give. My heart sank a little then as I headed upstairs to take my seat in the pew.
The ceremony was beautiful. The bride and groom both looked so great and so so happy! But again, the vows...just like the wedding we were at in July, the vows got me. Now they didn't use the exact version Mike and I did with the "for better or for worse". Their version said, "in joy and in sorrow." Oh I pray this newly married couple never experiences the sorrow Mike and I have endured. That they spend so much more of their marriage purely in joy than we did. Not that our marriage isn't joyful now, but it is tainted with sorrow. I tried not to let it get me, but it did. And another super amazing good friend (she was my date, since Mike couldn't be there) that was with me caught that. She squeezed my arm. There's something about someone recognizing your struggle that can be so helpful.
Another moment during the ceremony that got to me was
during the pastor's sermon. It was a really good sermon, overall I
enjoyed it. But at one point he was talking about all
the things that might be thrown at you in a marriage, sickness, financial struggle,
etc. What he did not mention was your child dying. No, no one expects
that to be thrown at you. I even leaned over to my friend and said "or a dead baby." Yeah, not the post appropriate thing to say in the middle of a wedding ceremony. And yeah, that's me being very angry and cynical. That can happen. But sometimes I just need to say it, get it out, or it will manifest in my head. I knew she was the type of friend that could take that comment and be supportive. So I let it go. I got it out, even if it was at a bit of an inappropriate time.
For the most part the rest of the time was just fine. Of course I wish I could have spent more time with the bride. But I understand how crazy your wedding day is. The reception was decorated beautifully and it seemed like people where having a great time. It's not that I had a bad time or anything. I had a good time, but that's relative to me. I'm still uncomfortable in large social settings. There were many children and babies around that I wanted to hide from, but didn't. I couldn't help but think of what it would be like with my 11 month old son there. It's also still hard to be a part of something that is pure happiness. My heart is always aching, it's hard to imagine that at one time I had that pure happiness and hope. I'm so glad they have that, I really am, but I can't help that it makes me sad for myself too.
Then I thought I was doing fine, ready to try to have some fun. But then they announced the Mother/Son Dance to the song "God Gave Me You." And my heart shattered. Not that the song has any particular meaning to me. I don't honestly really know it that well. But the combination of the Mother/Son Dance and that song title that was chosen for it. God gave me a son, but he didn't let me keep him. I will never have a Mother/Son Dance with Marcellus. Even thought that is something that would be well over 20 years away, it is something I won't have. Another thing I lost when Marcellus died. I lost being at his wedding and dancing with him to a special song.
With tears in my eyes, my "date" offered to go outside with me. We did. We went for a walk, sat at some picnic tables and she let me just talk. I needed that. I needed to cry about never getting to see him get married. I needed to grieve for the mother/son relationship I will never have with him. She listened while we talked and she offered her love and support. I am thankful for that conversation.
We eventually went back in and enjoyed a bit of the reception before taking off. It was a mixed emotion type of day. But overall, I'm glad I went and I am so happy for the bride and groom. They are a great couple and I wish them nothing but the best in their marriage!
Marcellus, Momma wishes you were there to celebrate the wedding of my friend too. She would love to have met you and have you at her wedding. It's just something about being at big gatherings like that that in a way makes your absence so much more apparent. I see everyone around me with their complete families, and compare it to my empty arms. It was hard to think of how I will never hear your excited voice as you tell me you've found the perfect person and you're getting married. I will never see you marry the love of your life and be there for your wedding day. I will never have that special Mother/Son Dance with you. And baby, that hurts. It makes my Momma heart ache so much for you. I have to wait for the day when we are able to dance together in Heaven. I can't wait sweet boy. I love you right up to the moon and back! xoxox