Broken dreams

photo by  Lauren Rushing

Please welcome Megan, our guest writer today. Megan's son Anthony was born in July and died on September 16, 2015. She writes, "I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy with a rare heart defect whose imperfect heart made my heart whole. In the aftermath of his loss, I am stumbling through the fog of grief and gathering the pieces of my shattered heart." She is blogging now at Grieving Anthony.

It has been 18 days since my son took his last breath. As I sit on the nursery floor, I stare at the alphabet decals on the wall and cry. What was once a room full of hopes and expectations is now a room full of shattered dreams. Instead of holding our sweet baby boy, the crib now holds the relics of his hospital room—a sign bearing his name in colored pencil, a diagram of his heart defect, a small collection of stuffed animals, baby books, his hand and footprints, and blankets that still hold his scent. To say that I miss Anthony does not adequately express how I feel. I ache for him with every fiber of my being. His death has left a hole in my heart that neither time nor patience will ever completely heal. I look at these objects in his crib and cannot believe that these things are all that I have left of my son.

In scanning the landscape of this room, I am struck over and over again by the magnitude of losing Anthony. We will never bring our son into this room. I will never lay him in his crib or change his diaper on the changing table. Clothes in his closet will remain unworn and baby books will stay forever closed. Diapers, baby shampoo, powder, combs, and pacifiers will sit on the organizer shelves and collect dust. Much like my own life, these items have lost their purpose. I am a mother without a baby to love. I will never again have the chance to hold Anthony’s hand, kiss his chubby cheek, or feel the weight of him in my arms.

The future looms ahead as a dark and shadowy land, stripped of the light and promise it once held. It is now filled with the ghosts of what might have been. In this future, Anthony will never utter his first word or take his first unsteady step. He will never blow out the candles of his birthday cake. Nor will he wave goodbye to me as he boards the bus on his first day of school. Dances, high school graduation, college, marriage, and children will remain a mystery to him. Instead, he will only ever know the inside of a hospital room and a body riddled with tubes and needles. And the love of his mom and dad who desperately fought to keep him alive and who tried to squeeze a lifetime of love into 9 weeks of life.

What are you missing from your baby(ies)' life today? What events? What moments? What items of your baby(ies) do you have out, or pull out, and look at?