I have always loved cherry blossoms. I don't know why, really. I guess when I went to Washington, D.C. as a high school sophomore on a school trip, the infamous cherry blossoms were in bloom, and I noted how beautiful and sweet and innocent they looked. They only bloom during a very short time period, and they go away for the rest of the year. For some reason, when I was on my trip, the blossoms were out, and I felt lucky to see them.
Fast forward about 8 years. I have tendency to go down the baby aisles when I am at Target. I have been doing this for a solid year or so. Somewhere within the past year, I spotted a cherry blossom nursery set at Target. I told myself that when I had a little girl, her nursery would be decorated in cherry blossoms...the ultimate symbol of beauty and sweetness (what every little girl should be).
When I found out we were having a baby, I instantly felt like she was a girl. In fact, I think I was almost willing her to be a girl. Not that I wouldn't have loved my child if he were a boy, but I was really feeling a girl. Luke felt it, too. I had dreams in which I would see her sweet face. She would have dark hair like me. I was already making plans to have the nursery decorated in cherry blossoms. In fact, when we moved into this house in May, I bought a vase of silk cherry blossoms to decorate the office (which would have been the nursery). It's like every little dream of mine was coming true...
Until September 12, when our world came crashing down. There would be no little girl...there would be no cherry blossoms. The past two weeks have been hell...to put it lightly. I have fluctuated between being calm and sane to emotional and inconsolable. I have blamed myself, I have blamed others (which is silly because NO ONE can be blamed for what happened). I have questioned my faith, and at the same time, I have been reassured of my faith. I have been up and down an emotional roller coaster, and I have just been begging for something or someone to stop the ride so I can calmly get off.
This past weekend, I reached a place of peace that I had not been able to reach. Seth & Abel decided to organize a little ceremony for our child...and they invited our families to come to our house today after church so they could all present us with a tree...a cherry blossom tree. In fact, we got a weeping cherry blossom tree. The symbolism with the "weeping" part of the tree is just perfect. What a perfect representation of our child, who we both felt was a girl. I cried, but not in an incontrollable way. I was happy. I was relieved. No longer would I have to worry that our child would be forgotten...by us or by our families. Our beautiful little tree, strategically placed outside the window of the office that would have been the nursery, will remind us every single day that we created a child. When our families and friends come over, they will see the tree and know that it is in remembrance of our baby we never got to meet. Even when we go on to have more children (which I am confident that we will), we will never, ever forget our first. We can explain to our children what the tree represents. The tree is a part of our family, as silly as that sounds.
I feel better than I have in two weeks. I know that I am not "over this." I can never be "over it." What an insensitive thing to expect. However, I have renewed hope that we will have beautiful children one day, and I know now, more than ever, that our first child will always be a part of our lives.