It started when Brian was a baby. He was six months old when we decided to start trying for another child. We still didn't know exactly what we were dealing with with Gavin (we never did find that out!), but we wanted to be sure that Brian had another sibling. My mind kept racing towards the future - the day that Ed and I were no longer here. I figured that Gavin would likely need care his entire life... and I didn't want Brian to feel alone in that. And I also worried that Brian would feel lonely - if Gavin never talked or walked. Boy, did we try for that other baby. The old fashioned way... pills... injections... we even made an attempt with donor eggs. Along the way we lost Darcy and many other babies who never made it to this Earth.
Giving up and moving on was a gut wrenching decision. But when I knew it was time to stop - I knew. And I felt pretty comfortable with that. I was proud to finally be strong enough to walk away and wrote about it in one of my personal favorite posts called "Reclaiming Me."
But I still had those pangs - mainly when I looked at Brian. As he progressed and Gavin trailed behind... as they started playing with completely different types of toys... I would worry. About Brian.
But now Gavin is dead.
And I was so, so wrong.
As I lay in bed each night with Brian and we go over Gavin's "death day" in detail before I turn out the lights.
As I sit on the swings with him and, on his request, push the invisible "angel Gavin" in his bucket swing.
As he says to me, "I miss Gavin's laugh the most." (So do I, buddy. So do I. Watch this little video and you will, too.)
As I watch him sleep in Gavin's bed.
As I well up with tears when he says, "Mama, remember when me and Gavin..." and recounts so many memories he has having fun with his big brother.
As I look in the rear view mirror when he says, "Mama - I miss Gavin sitting next to me. It's lonely back here."
As I hear him talk to Hope in my belly, which he has started to do, and he says "You have two big brothers - me and Gavin. Gavin died, but that's okay. I'll be your big brother and I'll tell you all about Gavin later."
As I watch... and listen... I realize.
I completely and totally... 100%... underestimated their relationship. I thought I got it. I knew they loved each other. I still thought another sibling would make things so much better.
But I was so wrong.
It was already great.