I never did write my annual "Blue" entry for Gabriel's birthday or passing. The tradition began on June 12, 2012, one year and two days after he was born, with an entry called "The Blueberry Bush Revisited," and is a reflection of another year since the birth and death of my first born child and only son.
Eight years into this process, I seem to have simply faded into blue. Every morning, I spend at least some time searching for motivation to get up, to breathe, to live. Every morning, it would appear, I find it, somewhere, however nominal it might be that particular day. One foot in front of the other, I make my way to the bathroom to get ready for the day, to raise Eden and Delilah, to maintain a career, to tend bar, even to tap dance. My life is full of joy, but a big part of the experience of joy, for me, is sheer grief.
Two days ago as Eden lined up with her new kindergarten classmates to walk with her teacher to her classroom for the first time, tears slid down my face. Tears of pride in the bright, strong, healthy girl that brought the color back into my world. Tears of mourning, over the two children before her that won't go to kindergarten, the siblings that she'll never get to meet on this earth. Tears of desperation, over the high likelihood that she and Delilah will be my only children that I will get to see off to kindergarten, and the speed with which this all seems to be happening, my family not at all what I imagined it to be. One foot in front of the other, she walked with a lightness that has long left me, with a carefree ease I pray she is able to keep.
At about ten minutes to noon that day, shortly before I was to leave to pick her up after her first day, I sat alone at my kitchen table, eating what I wanted to eat and watching what I wanted to watch in a rare moment of quiet in my home. Suddenly, unexpectedly, I began to sob. Nothing is louder than a quiet house and the absence of voices and footsteps that you expected would fill your home. My miscarried child and Gabriel would have been in the third grade this year. I thought there would be at least two more children following Delilah. The hollow sound of what might have been.
Though the years have gone by quickly, the days are long, and busy, and rarely is there time to feel these things in a dedicated moment of grief. Instead, it just lives in me, in the soles of my feet, in the crevices of my broken heart, in the weight on my shoulders, in eyelids that burn to cry while still holding back tears. This is it. The Fade Into Blue.