I must have been almost ten weeks along, and the only person that knew about this little life growing inside me was my husband. Our first child. Three years ago.
We decided that Christmas Day would be the perfect time to announce to our families that we were going to be parents. We handpicked some special things from Things Remembered and an online jewelry shop, and engraved “Grandma” and “Grandpa” on them. We wrapped them.
With our hearts about to burst, we finished up Christmas dinner and found the bag with all the gifts safely tucked away.
As we handed them off, the first reaction I can remember was from my dad. Stunned, he looked at my mom. “Grandpa?!” I don’t think she heard him.
My mother-in-law caught on almost immediately, but when my mom realized that her bracelet was not just any charm bracelet but a bracelet with a “Grandma” engraved charm, she had herself an old-fashioned fit.
Happy tears filled that room. One of the last Christmases where we spent it altogether – his family and my family.
I would have about ten more weeks of a blissful pregnancy before our world would come crashing down. But Christmas Day 2009, it was a day that we celebrated Jenna for the first time with others. I like to think it of that way anyway. Since then, it has been difficult, if not awkward to invite family to truly celebrate her life. It is definitely bittersweet to look back on that day, mostly because when I look back, the thing that haunts me the most is the innocence that surrounded me. Ignorance to the world of possibilities. And oblivious to this world of loss.
In the end, all we have are memories. Precious memories. Bitter memories. Memories have a unique way of making time travel possible, for just a few moments. Where you can see, smell, hear and almost touch that beautiful yesterday. The yesterday where all was well. The yesterday that is today’s gift, and which makes today and every day after it so much sweeter.