Today, April 12, would have been my due date with the twins. I dreaded this day for as long as we've mourned the babies. This date, in particular, a milestone, another marker of their loss, specifically the end of the anticipation of what would have been their arrival. I expected my heart to break wide open on this day.
But today was different. Tears were shed today, and I'm ever aware of the absence of two newborns in our home. But today held more joy than I anticipated. We both cried this morning, and then when Cooper woke up, we went and got our sweet boy, got dressed for the day. I wore overalls and a pink shirt, feeling the nudge to make this day more focused on celebrating their lives and what joy they brought us with their tiny forms and heartbeats.
I made breakfast and coffee, I checked messages from a few friends who knew this day was meaningful for us. Cooper and I ran errands, he waved and said "hi," in his soft voice to everyone we passed and held on tightly to a penny while he sat in the cart.
I bought flowers for the twins.
As we loaded up the car, I saw a mom and her little boy parked close to a construction site so the little boy could see the construction vehicles closely.
It was sunny and bright today. I found some wild violets in the yard. Numerous hastas and one lone tulip are coming up, bright and green, making me stop and look closer. The periwinkle blooming, delicate and nostalgic, since my parents grow it in their yard, too.
After Cooper's nap, we played in a patch on sunlight on the carpet, he made a game of tossing my knitting progress keepers in the air, then picking them all up, one by one. He played with his wooden tool set, I knit a few rows on a sock.
And then we spent time in the backyard, the three of us, observing (from a safe distance) baby bunnies in our yard, Cooper leading his daddy around by the hand.
My heart has broken wide open, but I don't feel only pain and devastation. It feels softer and perhaps more aware of the preciousness of this life. Sadness, but not hopelessness.
Thank you, God, for the short lives of the twins. For the excitement and joy they brought us. Thank you that this day, on which we will always remember them, is in a season of new life, new promises, new manna. A season of hope that was hard to glimpse months ago, but You're revealing it more every day. Thank You for showing us hope in the little things in this life, always a metaphor for Your joy made manifest all around. Thank you for tulips, and hastas, little boys watching construction sites, cut flowers, overalls, teary eyes, baby bunnies, toddler hugs, sunshine, and promises from a trustworthy God. He is present in the happy and the heartache.
And to our babies, we love you.