Today was a good day. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect– not a cloud in the sky. A perfect Saturday for football. While I envy those of my friends who’ve yet to have kids. thereby freeing their weekends up for tailgating and actually attending games, there isn’t any other way I would have rather spent my Saturday morning than the way I spent it today. Today, hubs and I loaded up the boys and journeyed out to the river.
Some background info on the river is crucial for understanding anything about my life. You see, Matt’s parents have a little cabin on the Congaree River. Being that I started dating Matt when we were 15 and 16, this little house has been a sort of focal point for our whole relationship. We spent many a night sneaking off to the river house to “hook up” (basically making out and watching movies). As we grew up, things got more risqué, but that’s all I’ll say about that right now. I will say I did lose my virginity there…sorry Mom. We spent our last night together there before he left for college (he was a year older). We got engaged right out there on the dock. We’ve spent the last couple of summers out there with our boys. This past summer, there is a strong possibility we even conceived our third baby out there (on a sandbar– totally the most romantic and fabulous sex I’ve ever had, just FYI). That river has always been a constant in our relationship– whatever stage of life we’re in.
When baby James was stillborn, I had no idea what I wanted to do with him. That’s not really something the average mom-to-be ever plans for or anticipates at all. It took me a couple of days to figure it all out; I knew I wanted to cremate him, but I didn’t know whether I wanted to have a funeral or if that was what I was even supposed to do. So surreal and confusing. I’m so thankful for Matt. He has been my rock throughout this whole thing. He made all the tough decisions when I couldn’t even fathom talking to anyone. He took care of the funeral home arrangements and kept in contact with the funeral home director. It wasn’t until we received a very special gift from one of Matt’s best friends from medical school that we knew what we wanted to do. She sent us a baby magnolia tree. Being that we are uncertain as to where we are going to be living when Matt matches for residency, I knew we needed to plant it someplace that is constant. The land at the river will always be in our family, and it really just felt right. We had a small prayer ceremony this past weekend where we planted the tree and buried the ashes along with a blanket. There is a little headstone marking the spot, and I’m so thankful that there is a concrete place that I can visit when I’m missing my sweet boy. Even better that it a place where we spend a lot of our time anyway.
This morning was the first time we’ve been back since we buried him. The weather was gorgeous, and the boys loved running around in the woods. We even got to take a short ride on the boat (note to self: bring more blankets and winter clothes) before we got too cold. Since when is it cold in November in SC? Reese also surprised us by taking some of his first real steps while we were out there. Way to go, buddy! I’ve been waiting on that moment for months now because Lord knows that child ain’t easy to carry. So ready to be able to put him down and let him run free. I also managed to get some decent pictures of all of us, so without further ado, here they are!