and later I thought it would be very nice to have a baby on Raphael's 11th birthday - sort of like coming full circle in a way. So when the due date passed last week and no baby showed up, I started sort of hoping that our baby would arrive today, All Saints Day, the day her Uncle Raphael was born to heaven.
In God's infinite wisdom, it didn't quite work out that way and I suppose that is for the best. This baby needs to be celebrated and enjoyed for who she is and the past needs to remain in the past.
It's hard to believe that 11 years ago today I was holding my own stillborn baby in my arms, with Mr. Pete by my side and my mother taking care of my other children elsewhere in the house. I remember trying to make the time as normal as possible for them all - they went to at least two All Saints Day parties and dressed up in their saints costumes for mass on All Hallows Eve. But I was filled with disbelief, and sadness and loss - just so much loss.
There's still a feeling of loss, although I realize that if Raphael were here, at age 11 on the cusp of the teenage years... sort of glad I'm not facing that. I apparently really suck at getting young men out of adolescence and into adulthood with their Catholic faith and morals intact.
And there's still a sense of other losses this All Saints Day - the loss of a senior year that was planned and prepared for, the last year of high school with plans for a prepared launch into either college, trade school, or the work force, the music of the band, or even percussion studies. Delayed. Maybe even gone. Some of it definitely gone forever.
So today is a sense of renewed hope, mixed with a lot of bittersweet memories and some real concerns for the future. Truly a day of joys and sorrows in my domestic church.