Recently, I went for a drive later in the day one afternoon just before dusk. I decided to pull over when I saw a large lake with a pretty fountain at the center. I had never been here, and I always like to find new “spots.” There were little gazebos such as the one above placed sporadically around the lake perimeter. There were various animals present, ranging from turtles and bunnies, to sand-hill cranes and blue herons.
I walked a little ways and stopped at the first gazebo I saw. I sat inside on the wooden bench, quietly watching the families as they enjoyed the great Florida outdoors during springtime. Not too hot, not too cold. Palm trees swaying in the breeze with the sky lit up pink and orange, signs of a true southern sunset. Some of the families were walking, while others rode their bikes or jogged. A few of the families had their dogs with them.
There wasn’t an enormous amount of people circling the lake, which was fantastic (I wasn’t in the mood to say hello to a new face every 5 seconds). Most public lakes are overly busy. This one was a little off the beaten path, and thankfully, I ended up only having to say hello two times. I hate to sound so unfriendly, but my goal in going for the drive in the first place was to have some alone time.
I watched one family, made up of what appeared to be a husband and wife with their daughter. My guess is that the girl was probably around 7 years old. The parents were jogging together as the little girl rode her bike ahead of them. I couldn’t help but wonder about the dynamics of their family as I observed them. I watched the little girl get off her bike and race her dad as the mom stood back smiling. I wondered what it would feel like to watch that with my family.
One other family stuck out to me. This one consisted of what appeared to be a husband & wife with their 2 children, and 2 dogs. They really weren’t doing anything special, just walking and talking. The kids were young, a girl and a boy, both probably under the age of 5. The parents seemed pretty young too. The dogs were cute, 2 little white poodles. Again, my mind drifted. I thought about us & our twins that were lost. What it would have been like if they made it. We always loved the idea of having 2 babies with our 2 pups.
And then, I don’t really know what came over me. I started to cry, tears slowly pouring down my face. As I was sitting on that bench in that gazebo, I saw every baby that we lost sitting in there with me. I was sitting in the center, and there were just enough spots on each side of me for each of them. I saw them smiling and laughing, talking to each other, and swinging their legs as they sat like all kids do. Both girls and boys. They were not babies anymore, they were around 4 and 5 years old. Everyone of them was so happy! Some even had juice boxes and were chewing on their straws. I gazed back and forth, from my left to my right, and my right to my left. All of my babies were with me. It felt so very real. What’s more, Nacho even showed up for a minute, too. It was incredibly hard for me to get up and walk out of that gazebo, but I eventually did.
I chatted with one of my dearest friends shortly after all of this happened. I shared with her how I don’t know if I can ever truly get past all of the loss we have endured. She reassured me that what had just happened was God letting me know how all of our babies are here with us everyday. She’s right, it’s true. While I don’t know if it’s humanly possible to ever get over it, I know I have to keep on and try to be strong.
With another due date quickly approaching us on May 3rd, I know it won’t be easy. Actually, far from it. But I also know our babies are all around us. Even though it hurts like hell, I will forever cherish that moment my babies and I just spent together, and I look forward to the day we all get to do it again.