Thursday, November 5, 2009

Turn Around

Tuesday was Katie and Charlotte day, also known as the day they came home from the NICU. I don't remember a lot of things from the first few months of the babies lives, but November 3, 2007 is forever burned into my brain as one of the happiest and most terrifying days of my entire life. I wrote about it last year, and it all still holds true.



One thing about that day I didn't mention though, is the regret.

I hate regret. I've fought it my whole life, that nonstop feeling that I've screwed everything up, that I wasted an opportunity, that I said the wrong thing, wore the wrong thing, WHY did I act like that, why did I not see how foolish I was..... it took me a long time to stop. To feel comfortable with who I am and the choices I make.

But now there are a few things I just can't let go of. I have a list in my head that I go over and over, that I lay in bed at night and think about. The ache to 'redo' them sometimes is overwhelming. They are all about Jack, and they are all small things, not life or death moments. Things that I should be able to let go of but just can't.

The day we brought the girls home from the hospital, I wanted them to go in and say goodbye to Jack and take a picture of the three of them together. They hadn't been together since the moment they'd been born - the girls had been together in the step down unit, but Jack was over in the main NICU.

They wheeled me into the NICU, carrying the girls, to see Jack. And he was asleep, if I remember correctly, and had already been taken out earlier in the day (which was a big production) so PJ and I could hold him. And someone, I don't even remember who, said "there will be plenty of time to get pictures of the three of them. You'll have thousands of pictures of them." And I hated to disturb him when he was asleep, and all the tubes and the vent and the monitors made it complicated to begin with, and the girls were all bundled up, and so, we left.

We said goodbye to Jack, and left. With no idea that ten days later Jack would be flying to Philadelphia and never coming back. We left, with no pictures.



There is not one picture of my three children together. None. My girls will never have a picture with their brother. I want so badly to go back, to lay them next to him, put their heads next to his, let them be close again for even a moment. Give myself that memory of my three babies, all together.

I want to go back and shake myself, make myself turn around and say no, there won't be thousands of pictures of the three of them. There won't be any. THIS is your chance. This is it. You will regret this forever.

I'm sorry Jack, and Katie, and Charlotte. I wish I could have given you that picture, and that moment.

28 comments:

Paige said...

Your memory that you just wrote about it their moment with Jack. Every story you tell about Jack is their moment with Jack. You are one amazing woman and mother! A beautiful writer as well....regret is something that can wear you down but you should not be regretful in the least. You are keeping his memory alive not only with the blog and his foundation but with your beautiful stories of Jack. Your girls might not ever have the actual picture of Jack in their hands but it is there in their hearts as well as yours.

brandie said...

That definitely brought tears to my eyes. But we can't or at least try not to dwell on those things. Of course at that moment you were fully expecting the millions of pics of them together. I am so sorry it didn't happen that way for you. All the could have-should have-would haves may always haunt us. Please don't beat yourself up too much about it. You are an amazing mother to your 3 beautiful babes.
Happy homecoming La La and Katie!

Lisa said...

I'm always frantic to get a picture or video of this or that just in case I lose my chance, even if it's for less serious reasons (she stops doing whatever, or outgrows something). I wish you had been able to get your picture.
My little girl is 3 months old, and now I have the slightest inkling of how it must have felt losing Jack. I can't even imagine at this point, my heart would shatter in my chest. 3 months is everything, it's just enough time to fall in love.

Notwifezilla- Jackie said...

Megan,
Your post made me tear up as I thought of that regret.
While you may not have the photo, your girls do have the memory of their brother in every thing you and do and say and demonstrate. While not here on earth per say, Jack lives on in the girls' lives throught all the things you do- the stories, his foundation, the pictures. You should rest a little easier knowing that regardless of a picture, the girls will know their brother!
Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Oh Megan. The girls shared so much more with Jack then a picture. They shared the miracle of growing inside you, of having you as their mother and PJ as their father. That is something that can't ever be broken. And while these words don't change the fact that you don't have that picture, please know that through your words and actions those 2 lucky little girls have much, much more than a photo could ever give them.
Hugs, Regina

Star said...

I hate the regrets. Why didn't I tell my husband to go the other way to the highway. It may have been a few minutes longer but a few minutes could have saved his life. Why didn't I tell him "I love you too" that morning when he said it to me instead I just smiled. Why did I give him a hard time about going 60mph in a 65mph zone?

But I have to keep telling myself that I didn't know. I didn't know it would be the last time. I didn't know I would have to say goodbye to him so soon after we got married.

Anonymous said...

Megan - you're forgetting to look closely in that space between them in all the photos you take. He's there. You do have pictures of them together. I'm sure he's in more pictures and moments than you even know. And more importantly, he's in your heart. A picture is just a piece of paper that captured a moment in time- but the memory itself is what counts.

-Loren

Anonymous said...

Megan -- For you and for your family and friends, there is not one picture of the girls that exists without Jack in it. He is always there. I understand your regret and wish I could take it away from you. But you did the best you could. I hope you find comfort someday. But I look at all your beautiful pictures, and I always see Jackson. You have the most beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

I am sitting here crying as I read this. I want to tell you that you inspire me and most of my friends and family everyday. I always think of Jack and people are always asking me about the mom of Jack. I wish I could take away that regret. I wish everyday that he was with you but I want you to find comfort in all that he has done and continues to do. The girls will grow up with so much more than a picture.

Ami Bunch said...

You know, you are an absolutely amazing person. I do not know you, and yet, so many of us feel like we know you. I am also a mother of triplets, and I think of your precious Jack ALL THE TIME. Your story has made me appreciate so many small things. In my babies' nursery hangs an 11x14 photo of the first time they were all three together in the NICU, as scrawny and tiny as they were with wires and tubes all over the place. The other day someone suggested I replace that photo with one of the millions of "cuter" posed ones they've taken. It struck me odd and I was quietly insulted...and you just nailed why. There is something to a mother about that "first" photo that so many of us take for granted. So it will remain hanging. And in your family's honor, I will think of Jack when I look at it. I hope you understand I am not trying to rub salt in your wound, I just want to say thank you for helping us all remember what's important in life. Thank you for the reminder not to take things for granted.

Sincerely, Ami
www.bunchbabies.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

As a mother, you give your daughters the wonderful gift of keeping their lost brothers memory alive every single day... and that means so much more than any photo....

You are such a wonderful mom, and a very gifted writer..

Cristy
CT Nestie

Allison (Allison & Jeff from the Nest) said...

Megan,
I know that this may sound silly but they do have pictures that you can make where people who aren't "here" can be put in the picture. Crazy sounding, freakish, right? But it's not, it's actually beautiful. I'm going to research it and post what I'm talking about on your blog. My mother also had this regret with my grandma, no picture of the three of us and she has been HOUNDING me to take a picture of the two of us and have my grandma's picture put in the background. It's almost like an image of them rather than a "picture". It may be something that would be nice for the girls to have? I don't know but it hit me when I read what you wrote about not have a pic of Jack and the girls. I'll look around and see what I can find to show you.

To let you know, I'm thinking of your son at this time of year and I'm keeping you in my thoughts. I only have a handful of sites that I visit daily and your site is one of them, along with Sweet/Salty. I think of you and yours all the time and love to see how your girls are growing up.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I originally found your blog but I am also a mother of triplets. Although we are "opposite" of you in that our babies are 2 boys and 1 girl, we are the same as you in that one of our babies, our daughter, is in heaven. Our triplets were born this past January and our daughter lived 62 days, never leaving the hospital either.

I have been reading your blog since shortly after our daughter's funeral. I am wondering if you might email me sometime should I ever need to 'talk' to someone who has been there, who IS there, who is living and dealing with regret, too.
My heart is sad for you.
mabakrahn@netwurx.net

Jessica said...

You are an amazingly, strong woman. Many of your posts make me cry as I try to imagine the hurt you've felt losing your son and raising his sisters without him. It reminds me to hug my child every day and be thankful that he is around.

It sounds like you've done a wonderful job raising those girls to remember their brother even though they don't have a picture with him. They might not have a picture with their brother, but they know to say "Hi Jack" and wave when you drive past the cemetary. Picture or no picture, you've done an awesome job keeping the spirit of Jack alive in the girls, absolutely awesome.

Miche said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'm sorry you even have to think about that. Losing a child is tough and it sucks that any of us have to be here.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

I hate when you make me cry! You are such an amazing mother to 3 beautiful children!

Jessica Barrague said...

Megan, although there are no photos, you have given your girls something many mothers would love to give...the written word of their lives. Your entire blog is a play by play of their lives. While it may seem mundane to you sometimes, they will look back at it and be amazed. And they can learn about Jack through your words. How many people can grow up and read what their mom writes and see how many people all over the world have prayed for them and their brother? Remembering is a big part of keeping someone alive. They will know him, just in a deeper and different way than most people "know" someone.

I wish I had half your strength. HUGS!!!

Anonymous said...

Megan, we both know that we cannot allow the what if's to control our lives b/c we are two very strong women who will survive past all of the doubts that we have in our minds. Your girls have Jack in their lives every day in you. They do not need a picture of Jack to know him and you do not need a picture to remember him. He will forever be in all of your (and all of our)hearts.
-Monica92603

Lesley (vedahanks) said...

That brought tears to my eyes as well. I too hate regret and have trouble shaking it. This blog will be so treasure by your girls one day. I'm sure you've been told this before, but you should make them each a book of your entries. Your memories and stories are so vivid, to me, someone that has never met you or your family yet I can picture every moment in my mind. And that is gift.

CRS said...

I'm all teary eyed. I'm so sad you don't have any pictures of the three of them together.

Helene said...

This is my first time visiting your blog (saw you were featured blogger on MoM's today) and this post moved me to tears. How could you have known? You couldn't have possibly known that might be the last opportunity to have your 3 children photographed together.

But I'm familiar with the regret...wishing so much to go back and do things over and feeling completely powerless. I do hope that with time, the regret will fade away so what's left in your heart are only good memories.

sunfrog said...
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sunfrog said...

Oh gosh, that is so hard, so poignant! I agree with everyone, that your memories, this post, your three babies time spent together inside, is what matters most of all. But I understand your regret, too, and wish it did not have to exist at all.

Lots of love! Another new reader, glad to be here!

Jody said...

Oh, Megan. This just makes my heart hurt. I'm sorry. No matter how hard we try, sometimes it's very hard not to give in to regret.

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Rachel said...

I am so sorry. I can see why this would make you so sad. I wish you could go back in time, just for a moment....

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