107 Saturdays ago, I was at my mom’s house. I was tired. I was semi looking forward to going back home already. It was lunchtime. I listened to my daughter play in the living room with my husband while I made lunch for my son. My husband sat on the couch and peered at his phone. Around 12:45pm, Jay fell.
Then came the 9 Saturdays of investigation. During this time there was the autopsy, the second autopsy and the excruciating conversations about my son’s body, the viewing, the interviews, the meetings with lawyers and a whole level of terror and dread that had never entered my life before.
3 Saturdays later, I was pregnant. I spent the next 36 Saturdays freaking out about whether we made the right decision, wondered who this kid was cooking inside of me, and at the end of those nine months when I faced a possible birth complication, I went against my nurse practitioner’s advice of “What could possibly go wrong??” and had a c-section.
Then I spent 59 Saturdays getting to know another sweet, beautiful, funny little boy. Ever since I got pregnant I have felt like I’ve been living the last two years over again. We did the same things, shopped for baby clothes at the same stores, went to a lot of the same events and birthday parties. It seemed surreal, like we were living in an alternate reality, where things were almost the same, but not quite. We were all older, but time had somehow rewound. Sometimes it was comforting, other times it felt disturbing, because we did this before and it ended tragically.
A month ago I calculated the exact day that Floyd would be the age that Jay was when he fell. I needed to know when Floyd would be older than Jay. Part of it was surely superstition. Another part just needed to know the day this alternate reality would end. I first had to calculate how many days Jay was alive. I found a website that not only gave me the days, but the hours, minutes and seconds. That was rough to look at. Then I put in Floyd’s birth date and calculated the same number of days.
The date is this Saturday. That struck me as interesting because Jay fell on a Saturday. It was then that I realized they were both born on the same day of the week, making that feeling of living the last two years over again all the more surreal.
We were busy during these 108 Saturdays. I’m ready to have a new Saturday. I’m ready to have the 109th Saturday, where I have a son who is 13 months and 3 weeks. I’m ready to have a 14 month old son for the first time. My hope is that I have a 40 year old son one day. But I know how life works. I can only take it one Saturday at a time.
I had 417 days with Jay. That’s 59 weeks and 4 days. It’s 10,008 hours, and 600, 480 minutes, and 36, 028, 800 seconds. How many of those 36 million seconds did I take for granted? Probably a ton. I don’t know how many seconds I have left with my living children. No matter who you are or how long you live, a day will come when you say goodbye to your child for the last time.
I try to make every Saturday count. I still take moments for granted, I still run low on patience as the day nears to a close, but when I hold Floyd before putting him in his crib, I thank him for coming. I whisper in his ear about what an amazing gift he is to our world, and that he is just perfect exactly the way he is. I used to also whisper, “Please don’t die,” but now that he’s 1, that’s too creepy and could land him in therapy one day, so I try to keep it light. I will always remember these 108 Saturdays, and my life goal is to remember how precious each Saturday is after that, however many we have left.