It's always been a bummer to me that the birth and loss of my twins falls in the same week as R2's birthday. It's a bummer for a lot of reasons, but especially because it's hard to mix up the happy and the sad and the confusing and throw a birthday party and give my heart room to remember.
But that's how it went. In 1999, I had R2 at 24 weeks, and 5 years and 2 days later, I had Evan Roberts Clark and Rees Howells Clark at 24 weeks. I always think about the fact that they were bigger than R2, weighing in at 1 lb 8 oz each, and that they were a couple of days older and hadn't had to live without amniotic fluid, etc... and he survived and they didn't. Just always a reminder of what a miracle his life is.
I've been feeling the ache, like I always do. I have a little anchor in heaven, and it pulls at me, longing for the reunion. My twins, my sons are always with me. Their absence is part of the fabric of my life, and it's not even something I am aware of on the surface, most of the time. In my spirit, though, when it's quiet, I can feel the separation, the sense that all is not right here, even though it is a rich and beautiful life. We were not designed to live without our children.
So that ache, that eternal tug is at the forefront today. They were born on the 7th and they fought for life until the 9th, when their tiny hearts couldn't keep up. They died 17 hours apart. As awful as it all is, I know they have each other, and a couple of other treasured family members and friends. Part of what makes all of it bearable is believing in heaven, in eternity. I've missed all the milestones, but I will see them again.
If I had it all to do over again, I'd do a lot differently. But if I didn't have that choice, and the only option was to live it the same way again, I would. Because I had 6 months to carry them inside my body and 2 days to see their faces, to know them. And they are worth missing, and celebrating.
Happy 8th birthday to my shadow boys. I miss you.