I miss you. Today you would be 14 months old. I would have taken you with your brothers to the neighborhood celebration for the fourth of July. We would have marched around the block in the parade, eaten watermelon, and then played at the playground. We would have run into neighbors who knew you, and would have delighted in seeing you. I would have had all of my three boys with me.
Papa’s aunt is visiting. She arrived with three presents, and explained to Eli who they were each for. “The one in the red is for you, Eli.” she said, “The one in the yellow is for Silas, and the one in white is for Sidney.” Eli responded, “But baby Sidney is dead.” Papa’s aunt said, “I know. I have a stone for him to leave at the cemetery. It has a special story behind it. I will explain it later.” I started to get teary eyed. Papa’s aunt is one of the few people who fully integrates you into our family. When she wrote us a letter about visiting, she wrote, “I would love to play with Eli , visit with Sidney and see his marker, and help with Silas.” For her, you are just another one of my sons, which clearly you are, but some people have trouble recognizing that.
I have a fake enemy in the neighborhood. She is not really my enemy, but I am jealous of her. She lives down the street (although she lives in a huge beautiful house and we rent a small not so beautiful town home). She is the type of person I would have been friends with before your death/birth (I think, given that I have never actually spoken to her). She was pregnant when I was pregnant with you–she had her daughter a few months before I had you. A few months ago, I noticed she was pregnant again. So when I was walking a few days ago with your baby brother, another neighbor stopped to look at him. I told her that he was born June 13th, and she said neighbor X had had a boy June 12th. So now she has both of her children there with her, and I don’t get to have you. At some point, I might still introduce myself, because it would be nice to have friends with babies in the neighborhood, but I wish I had been able to introduce myself to her after I’d had you. Alas, it was not to be. It is still so hard.
Sidney Louis, I want to kiss your cheek, cuddle you in my arms and breathe your sweet smell in. But instead, I visit you at the cemetery, write letters to you that you’ll never get, and replay a nightmare that still seems surreal over and over again in my head.
I love you, always and forever.