Here I am, in the very last hours of this year, a year that changed my life forever. I’m laying here in the dark, getting ready to take a nap so I can properly end this year whooping it up with my wife and friends in a few hours, but I needed to write about what I’m feeling, as today is the last day of a year that was going to be so exciting filled with the expansion of our family, and ended up being the hardest and most painful year I’ve lived, having to say goodbye to my first born child, and my heart dog.
2013 was the year I experienced the joy of becoming a mother and the love that people told me I would immediately feel for my child when he arrived. But it was also the year that took him away from us, a year that robbed us of all we had planned for his life, for our life.
Walking through the streets of San Miguel de Allende, this enchanted city, we pass by families, so many families, and their litters of children. Kids playing in the streets, wrapped up in blankets being held lovingly by their mothers- and I walk by them with a smile, eyes welling up with tears when I am staring directly at what I’m missing.
That little hand held in mine.
That sweet baby boy asleep in my arms.
Caring for him.
Rubbing his back to help him fall asleep.
My mind wanders.
I get frightened at the idea that Luca could be our only child. That he was it, and that I will never get a chance to carry and birth another child. Thinking about this possibility makes time stop. My throat knots up and I can just barely gasp for air thinking that we may never get that shot in life. It scares me to think of this, it breaks my heart even more to imagine. But nothing in this life is guaranteed. Luca, he was supposed to be 9 1/2 months, just a babe in our arms. He is now a distant memory, the feeling of holding him is one I have to try so hard to remember.
I want to be a mother to children here on earth. I want to have a living family with my wife.
And I hold such hope that we will be able to conceive again and have a healthy pregnancy, and get to bring home a healthy baby or babies that Gina and I will get to shower with love. That one day, we will actually get a chance to come home from the hospital with our baby, alive.
I walk around gazing longingly at other mothers, everyday of my life. With a smile, appreciative that I am alive, but constantly in this haze. Because, life was going to be so different when Luca arrived.
I have a greater appreciation for my life thanks to my son who doesn’t get to live life.
I guess I need to spend some time to be thankful that I did in fact, make it out alive from his birth. There are days where I wish I didn’t, the only thing keeping me on this side being the tremendous love I have for my wife. But most days, I am grateful for the doctors who were able to treat me, and save my uterus. I never thought I would ever be typing that.
This year also showed me also how strong I am, how strong Gina and I are. This fucking year broke us, but we managed to rise out of the ashes everyday, like a set of hers and hers phoenixes. The love we have for each other, and for our son, is something that will bind us for life.
I have a greater appreciation for friends, and the community we’ve built around us. So many of you who have been so supportive throughout this journey, and many of you have really gone deep inside and been able to show us the empathy and the deep grieving for Luca that you all have experienced too as members of our community.
The support from the majority of my family was non- existent. It cemented that family isn’t predetermined solely by blood, but rather by truly wanting the best for those you love, and helping members of your made village, in any way possible, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
This year showed us the meaning of our friend family.
A framily member of ours bought the website lucadoroislove.com and told us he wanted it to be for the foundation in Luca’s honor. How amazing is that?
On the other side of the spectrum, my mother wrote me a note on a post it note after my son died, never mentioning Luca’s name or that I was even pregnant, but instead telling me that god has a plan and these are life lessons.
I receive messages and pictures of Luca’s name that my friends write in the sand, on the side of a mountain, and out of anything they can find. We got a message this week from some dear friends out to dinner at a restaurant that served Luca’s pizza. When we get these messages, we feel so loved and so secure in the thought that Luca will not be forgotten by our community.
At the same time, I received messages from former friends and family, that watching my meltdown on Facebook or through my posts was too much, so they either defriended me or blocked my feed.
Which leads me to another gift that Luca left us with despite the myriad of responses to our loss.
Compassion. Empathy. Connection.
If any of you dear friends need a hand to hold, a hug, an ear- please know that Gina and I will be there for you. The pain that comes along with grief is so hard to carry on your own, we will be there to share in the weight of it any way we can. We will climb down that hole and sit with you there, at the bottom.
A friend who has herself experienced so much grief in her young life, and has been such a point of light for us, wrote “joy shared is joy doubled, grief shared is grief halved”.
That statement is a remarkable life lesson. Be a part of the grief your community is experiencing, just as much as you share in the joy. It will enhance your life in ways you had no idea.
2013, you brought me Luca, and for that I am grateful. But you took way more than you gave, leaving me childless, and missing Penny, my heart dog. I’m ready for you to be done.
I will hold my son in my heart for every year of life that remains, but I proceed into 2014 ready for new beginnings, more healing, and in search of our rainbow.
Please bring us our rainbow.
Luca is love. Luca D’oro loves.
My little man, my first born, my golden light, you will forever be missed, and 2013 will always be, your year.