It’s Jacob’s day again. He would have been nine this year. Kind of funny to think that had he lived, he and Trooper would have had two months of being the same age. I wonder if that would have amused them. Of course, Trooper likes numbers but doesn’t care much for birthdays or parties so maybe not. 😉
I put Jacob’s picture out on the hall foyer shelf this month. Usually it stays with the other family pictures or, after the mantel incident where all the pictures were pulled off in a resounding crash (Toddler Mischief Squad), in my room. The children all know it’s a picture of their brother, those old enough to know, anyway. Rascal especially is loyal and is willing to offer any information about Jacob to listeners, whether or not they wanted to know. I love that about him–I love that he understands that we are still family whether we’re here or in Heaven. And Jacob is in Heaven.
Growing up Catholic and going through Catholic (homeschool) high school and then Christendom College, I figured I had a pretty sufficient knowledge of the Catechism and eternity and the Last Four Things (death, judgement, Heaven or Hell) and all that. But in the days following the heartbreaking news that our baby had died–and then the stillbirth, the graveside service, the burial… suddenly in all that sorrow Heaven became more real to me than ever before. And though I always wanted to strive for the good and live a decent life, etc., suddenly it became an absolute must. I want to be with God, and I want to be with our baby again.
Don’t misunderstand: I always miss him, but I’m not always sad. I think that would be impossible for my personality. There is a place in our hearts for Jacob that is his and his alone. Seven other children have their places (–yes, there is room for everyone. I know it’s hard to comprehend but it’s true), but he’s no less our son because he only had 23 weeks in this world, and one hour in our arms. So while it is always bittersweet to think of our little son today, his ninth birthday, I know someday eventually, maybe decades hence, I’m going to see him again. Someday, God willing, I will be with all my children again.
Happy birthday, Jacob Dominic. Mommy and Daddy love you.