Matthew David Choate
Born: June 7th, 2003
Died: September 23rd, 2003
Days on earth: 108
Aaron Michael Choate
Born: May 19, 2009
Days on earth: 108
I have been waiting for this day.
Hoping for it.
So many people don’t get why it even matters to me.
It just does.
It matters a lot.
Aaron reaches 108 days on the earth today.
The same number of days his older brother lived before dying of SIDS.
That doesn’t seem very long, does it?
Especially when you are talking about an entire lifetime for someone; when you consider that it has been 2,171 days that we have gone without our sweet, sweet baby boy to hold and kiss and cherish.
While 108 days doesn’t seem very long at all in comparison to 2,171 days, it was absolutely long enough for my wee baby boy to imprint his soul on my heart so deeply I will never let go.
That part didn’t take long at all-it happened the instant I saw him. He was MINE. My strong, sweet, red headed little man.
My Little Bug.
108 days of love and wonder and joy was all we were given with him.
So few blissful days with Matthew, so many dark ones without.
I look down at Aaron and feel so much happiness my heart hurts. I see his cute round eyes, his little nose, and watch all his adorable movements, coo’s and smiles and it lifts me up more than I ever thought I could be again.
I took this video, not only because I adore my baby but it is for a very pointed illustration so that you can try to understand me. It’s short (and cute) so please…watch it?
He’s adorable, no? This stage of life is so precious and sweet that I wish I could stay up 24/7 just to watch every single second of it. I cannot see this without thinking about my Matthew. How similar they are to me.
How I love them both so much.
How Aaron is still here.
How Matthew is not.
He’s not here because he died.
At 108 days.
One moment he was as alive and sweet and precious and HERE as much as Aaron is in this video; I blinked and he was dead and cold and more still and quiet than any baby should ever be.
MY LITTLE SON DIED.
I still cannot comprehend it sometimes. Sometimes I will say it over and over and type it over and over and still, I cannot make myself believe that those words belong in my life, my history.
Sitting here thinking about the little one I lost squeezes my heart with a hurt so intense I can’t breathe. So sharp that I just want to run and run and RUN from it.
Holding Aaron’s tiny warm body to my chest listening to his sweet sounds I remember how I sat in a trauma bay holding my quiet and still little one and felt the heat leave his body and the terrible sound of the last bits of oxygen exiting it and I cannot fathom how I survived it.
How did I survive Matthew dying?
I get asked that question all the time.
I ask myself the same question regularly:
How did I live through burying my child?
How did I survive something that horrifying?
HOW AM I STILL BREATHING WHEN MY BABY IS NOT?
How, how, HOW?!
The truthful answer?
I have no idea.
It certainly wasn’t what I had in mind.
It certainly wasn’t my intent.
That is a story for another day, though.
But…that day is coming.
I’m finally brave enough to talk about it.
But not today.
Today is enough of a struggle.
I didn’t want today to be about my sorrow and fear and pain.
I wanted it to be about my joy that Aaron is HERE.
HERE WITH ME.
For which I am more grateful than most of you have any idea.
It’s just hard.
So hard that some days that I feel like I can’t take a breath because my grief has taken up every molecule in my body and all I want in the world is to be with my little one and rage and scream and cry that I cannot.
It is still so hard.
Even after 2,171 days.
I have held up these 108 days so much better than I thought I would. There has been much less anxiety and fear than I anticipated.
Today was going to be a joyful day of celebration for my son and the life he is living with me and I expected it would be. However, I have learned that expectations often get the middle finger in the grieving process. You have to take what is in front of you and deal with it.
And what is in front of me on day 108 is sobbing, pain and sharper sorrow for the loss of my baby than I was prepared for.
So, I will deal with that today.
I will allow myself to be sad.
And come day 109?
I hope to have joy.