Seventeen months

Dearest Sidney,

I am so tired.  I am tired of not being able to watch you grow up.  I am tired of not being able to kiss you, and hear your little voice say ‘mama’.  I am tired because your little brother has decided to stop sleeping at night, and because your father is away in Seattle.  And because everyone seems to think life is okay now that we have your little brother. I am tired because people don’t understand–yet how they don’t understand, how they could think the death of a child is something you move on from, is beyond me.  I miss you so much my precious second son.  I want to know so much more about you than I know, than I will ever be able to know.

It was just the Jewish New Year, and the Day of Atonement.  I associate you with these fall holidays.  Two years ago, during the high holidays, you were growing inside of me.  One year ago, I was broken and grasping.  And now I returned to synagogue without you.  We sat in the quiet room, overlooking the bima.  Papa rocked Silas back and forth.  There were a few other families with toddlers in there too.  At one point, a little girl kept coming near you, watching you, and staring.  “Baby,” she would say. “Baby.”  “How old is she?” I finally asked.  Almost 1.5 years old, her mother said.  Just a few weeks older than you would have been.

The world is a scary place these days.  Tonight is the start of sukkot, a holiday that emphasizes community and fragility.  Will we have enough to get by?  How can we join together to prepare for the winter and help each other?  I have needed a community so much since I lost you.  On October 1st, I went to a memorial service in your memory, and the memory of other babies who died too soon.  Familiar faces, familiar heartbreak.  It was a place to say your name, to see your name written.  Towards the end, they call each baby’s name, and the baby’s parents and other family members go up and receive a rose and a little angel statue.  With your last name starting with T, you were near the end.  Having an A last name, I am used to being near the beginning.  As I waited for your name, I thought about how I am going to have to get used to my children’s names being call near the end.  You were the first of my sons whose name I waited to hear, who helped me have this simple realization (that I am having trouble articulating).  But it won’t ever be your name I am waiting to hear at graduation.   This is my chance to hear your name.

So as I write this, I whisper your name out loud.  Sidney Louis. I remind the world that you existed, and that I will love you always and forever.  And I will.

I miss you my precious second baby boy,