Every month without fail around the 17th I start to have nightmares. These nightmares make the ones I had as a child seem like a cake walk. These nightmares haunt me long after I get up in the morning if they don't wake me during the night and prevent me from falling back asleep.
Last night's dream went like this: I was walking in the dark and the only light around me emitted from the gown I was wearing, a simple, sheer white gown. It was cold and all the leaves were gone so I assumed it was winter. I had no idea where I was or where I was headed but I just kept walking. Out of nowhere I was standing by Eli's grave. For a long time I just stood there and then I lost it. I screamed and cried and fell to my knees and I started digging. I clawed at the Earth for a long time hoping that I would be able to find him but no matter how far I dug I couldn't find him. I would look up at his headstone and there was his face looking at me but his body was gone. I went into a panic. Where is my baby? This is where they laid him, where is he? And then I woke up.
As a parent your biggest fear is losing your child. Once you've lost your child you're afraid that people are going to forget him or that you are going to somehow lose the memories you have. I am always terrified that someone is going to forget Eli existed because he isn't around for everyone to watch grow. Today my sweet boy would've been 18 months old. A whole year and a half since I held him in my arms. What I wouldn't give to see his face for even a few seconds again.
Our rainbow, Cailyn is 7 months old, just slightly older than what Eli would've been around this time last year so watching her is very bittersweet. I put presents under the tree last night and she went right for them, climbing up them and crunching the paper in her hands and while it made me smile it also made me so very sad. I could picture Eli in my mind doing the same thing last Christmas. I imagine this year he would be just like Austin, sneaking into the gifts and shaking them to see what they were and trying to figure out which ones are his. In my mind I can see the 3 of them laying under the tree looking up at the lights and giggling. I wish more than anything that this could be my reality but unfortunately it never will and I'm still learning to deal with that.
Even though my heart is shattered into a million little pieces today I'm going to celebrate the fact that 18 months ago I welcomed my perfect, beautiful son into the world. He has forever changed my life and I'm more than proud to be called his Mommy.