Twenty three years ago today I was visiting my parents in Illinois when something happened that changed my life.
My husband was in the Navy for over 20 years (including a lot of time before I knew him) which was mostly time in the Navy Reserves. That meant that every month he was gone for a weekend for training in Topeka which was far enough away to spend the night there. Also he would go for two weeks of training in the winter to somewhere exotic like San Diego or South Carolina. Hey, when you are the one stuck in Kansas during the winter anywhere else sounds exotic.
So 23 years ago I had a little guy who was just about 2 years old. Amazing isn't it? I think so. We had decided we were ready for child number 2 in the fall and by January I knew that I was pregnant again. Although I didn't go to the doctor yet I am pretty sure that I took a home pregnancy test that was positive.
I was feeling extremely tired as one usually is in the early weeks of pregnancy but happy to be moving toward another family member joining us. So the end of January we headed off to visit my folks while Craig was suffering in sunny San Diego doing his super hard duties such as playing golf with the Commander.
One day during that first week of February we headed off to Fox Valley shopping mall which had been a favorite of mine as a teenager. (I still can't believe my parents let me run around so far from home. Of course I only gained this perspective since I now have a 17 year old daughter.) We had a good day of shopping for the most part. If I remember correctly we went with my friend Kris who is the daughter-in-law of my mom's sister and said sister. Going shopping with those two is a hoot. But I digress.
If memory serves me correctly, at one point late in the day I realized that I had left my purse somewhere and I was panicked. I just knew I would never see that purse (or all the money I had for the rest of my stay) again. We split up our group and went looking at the stores we had been to most recently. Bear in mind that in those days we did not have cell phones which sounds like it could have been in the early 1900's but it was not. Miraculously, someone in our group found my purse at one of the stores in which we had been shopping earlier. It seemed like a day of infamy.
Alas, as you can tell by my poor memory of these events, this was not to be the most important thing that happened that day. I stopped to use the restroom before we got ready to leave the mall and something was not right. Something was happening to me that should not be happening if you are pregnant. Panic set in as I realized that I might be miscarrying but I kept it mostly to myself.
Thus began several days of pure physical agony as well as emotional trauma as it became apparent that indeed I was losing the child that I only recently realized I was carrying. I felt so alone and yet my mom was a real comfort to me.
Jump ahead in time and I conceive another child probably a bit sooner than I should have and we DO have a second son born at the end of that same year. When the boys are a bit bigger I told them about the sibling that they never got to know. When Adam was about 4 or 5 years old he came down one morning after waking up and told me, "Mommy, I had a dream about that baby that we didn't get to have. His name is Jacob."
So, even though no one else in my life will ever remember it, today I remember Jacob. I love you Sweetie and look forward to meeting you in Heaven one day!