Today was my due date. I took the day off of work and made no plans. I woke up and just let my mind and heart do whatever it wanted. I laid in bed, dusted off some of the miscarriage books I received and desperately thumbed through searching for anything on due dates. Out of the three books, only one book had a section on ‘due date’ and it was about 20 sentences. In this section, the woman that wrote the book had forgotten when her due date was. I wish I had. And then explained why her due date made her happy and that she took a moment to think about what her son would have looked like.
I have heard women and men (including my husband) having dreams of their lost children. I am not one of them. I haven’t dreamt about my son in any capacity. And that crushes me, what kind of mother doesn’t dream of her child? The first weeks after delivery, I had nightmares that I was in a hospital, delivering him over and over again but always waking before seeing him.
I put the book down and sobbed. Uncontrollably. I cried each time I imagine my chubby little boy and how blue his eyes would have been. I cried and rolled around in bed until I couldn’t cry anymore. I prayed loud and angrily ‘Lord, please let me see my son. I want to see my son. Please just show me my son.’
I just wanted to see my child. The five photos we have of him aren’t enough.
I had silenced my phone that day, I wasn’t in the mood to talk. After spending most of the morning in bed I picked up my phone to check the time. I saw a text from an unfamiliar number. I read the text from a stranger, named Natalie.
Chris and I went to see Florence and the Machine in late May about 6 weeks after we lost James. For those that know me, you know that music and live concerts have been a huge part of my life. A music addict if you will.
So we arrived to the concert, over the moon and excited. I sat down next a woman that had a childlike face, closely shaved head and I could see she was by herself. I smiled and jokingly said, ‘I’ll try not to sing too loud.’
And she gave polite chuckle and she started to text. Well, she wasn’t very good at hiding her text and had very large text font and I could see that she wrote “Oh dear God, the girl next to me just told me she is going to sing every song. Why do I get stuck next to these types!” followed with about 4 different emoticons.
I was offended for about .2 seconds and leaned over and smiled said ‘Oh hey, I was kidding by the way.’ No one could kill my Florence buzz. She smiled and made a joke back. She introduced her self as Natalie and I reciprocated. We small talked and Chris joined in where he could because, you know girl talk and all.
The show began and of course it was fantastic. About 4 songs in, I look to my left and noticed Natalie had sat down. There was a large man to her left and clearly he had been drinking a lot and dancing outside of his personal bubble. I crouched down and when I looked at Natalie’s face I could see something was very wrong. She looked dazed and scared. I sat down and asked her if she was okay. She continued to stare ahead and I could see her breathing was fast and irregular. I placed my hand on her back and as soon as I did she jerked away like I had hurt her. I pulled my hand back and asked her again if she was okay. She finally looked at me and with tears in her eyes, she muttered, ‘No, I’m sorry. He keeps touching me.”
I am not a doctor but I am human and I could tell she was having a panic attack of sorts. I can’t say I have ever seen anyone have one before, but I know something had triggered her. I quickly asked, ‘Please what can I do to help you?’
At this point Chris had leaned down and asked me what was going on. He could tell by our faces that something wasn’t right and I asked him to sit in her seat. Without question, Chris wedged himself and stood shoulder to shoulder to the large, sloppy drunk. I sat and held her hand and gave her my water bottle and occasionally rubbed her back. We watched the rest of the show like that and by the end she was back to smiles. She thanked me a hundred times over and over and I told her not to worry about it and if anything take this as an act of kindness in my sons name.
Of course she asked questions and we explained our loss. As people filed out, Natalie noticed that her program that she purchased was missing. I helped her search under the seats and around that time my husband snuck away.
Minutes later he popped up and handed her a new program that he bought, just for her. Natalie began to cry and thanked us again, we hugged, exchanged numbers and went out separate ways. She sent us a text the following morning thanking us again and sending us some videos she had taken form the show. That’s the last we communicated. I never did ask about her panic attack.
As I stated earlier, I am a huge music fan and do my best to make it to live shows as much as I can. When the Red Rocks (an amazing venue outside of Denver) schedule came out around the time I learned I was pregnant, I was really bummed because I saw that one of my favorite bands The Head and The Heart were playing the night before my due date. Obviously, a no go.
Fast forward 4 months later to August 29, my due date. I get a text from Natalie.
Natalie happened to be at Red Rocks the night before watching The Head and The Heart. She sent me one of the songs she recorded, that made her think of me and Chris. And of course it just so happens to be a favorite.
What are the odds that woman I have only met once, over four months ago, sends a song that I cherish. I cried some more.
I responded and we chatted for over an hour. I learned that she had been sexually assaulted and the man standing next to her that night was saying crude things to her that triggered her panic attack, along the alcohol on his breath. I shared with her it was my due date. We swapped virtual hugs and stories, she shared a beautiful story about a trip to Chicago, her struggles with wanting to be a mother and dealing with hate because she is gay.
I asked the Lord just an hour earlier to show me my son. I asked the Lord to show me my son and he did better. He showed me my son through a little woman named Natalie.
I may never ‘see’ my son but I know I can find him among close friends, family and even strangers. I can find him in the little things like the sun shinning through the trees on hikes. I can find him in my laughter as my husband attempts to dance. I can find him when I hear a song lyric. I can see my son when I see the good in the world.
I just need to keep my eyes and heart open.