Friday, January 11, 2013

The bracelet - three firstborns

As a follow-up of this post, I had planned to post this in July, but then so many things got in the way that it was never finished and kept in my drafts folder way too long.

July used to be a sad month for my mother, as it holds the day she gave birth to her firstborn, a stillborn son.

But then, 33 years later, my sister made it a bit brighter month, by giving birth to her firstborn, a healthy boy, on July 5th. My parents had planned to arrive in time for the birth (my sister lives in California, my parents in Holland), but as the boy decided to come earlier than the due date, they were too late. At the time I was still living in the US, so I flew to California to help out the first few days, until my parents arrived. We then spent some time all together (my husband also came over in the weekend), which was pretty special (and perhaps a bit overwhelming for my sister as well). My parents were as proud and happy as grandparents can be.

My nephew turned 10 this summer. We took him rock climbing as a birthday present when the whole family came to France in August.

Another seven years later (thank you IF...) another firstborn was expected. Mine. It would be my parents' third grandchild. My mother, always anxious the last few weeks before a due date, wanted to be around again, even though I thought we had agreed they would not come before the baby's arrival as per our wishes... But her restlessness was too strong, so they came on the due date itself, only the baby decided it would stay put for another 10 days... It caused a lot of stress, even anger on DH's part, that took a long time to settle. I wrote a little bit about it here. But there was a lot of joy too. His coin on the bracelet is bigger than that of the other grandchildren, because they jeweler didn't have the smaller size in stock at the time, but my mom told me he also deserved it, the much wanted child... This miracle boy turned three on July 6th, yes just one day after his cousin (and if you would keep the Pacific time zone, they were born on the same day). We celebrated it at the beach in Holland.

Before she died, my mom told me July had now turned from a dark to a happy month for her, celebrating the birthdays of her two grandsons.

The heart on the bracelet belongs to her own firstborn, my brother, born still on July 23rd. I wrote about it here. I wish I could have talked more about it with my mom, especially after I'd become a mother myself. After she died, my dad decided he wanted their son's name engraved on her tombstone as well - he was torn that he hadn't thought of it before she died, and he hadn't been able to share it with her. I don't think it matters, I think somehow she knows it anyway, and it feels good to see those two names together, engraved in the glass, especially now that my dad has a new partner and will most likely not be buried next to my mom when his time comes. It somehow feels she's less alone.


Valery said...

Glad you're writing again!

I'm glad to hear your mother enjoyed a lighter July those last years.
I think it is a beautiful idea to have J-W on the glass as well.
I'm contemplating having a transparent insert with the birth announcement, for the vanished twin. Of course hard to 'compare' to a still born child, but I don't want to wait till after I'm dead to acknowledge how much it matters to me.
From Amsterdam with Love

Fran said...

I have tears streaming down my face, what a lovely thought...i have no doubt your mom knows and she is truly happy about those dates near her.

St Elsewhere said...

I am glad that you eventually did write this post.

I appreciate the fact that your father thought of it, and your brother's name is on the grave.

As for how months change colour, I know.

I am celebrating two children born in the same month.

Kathy said...

What a beautiful post about the three firstborns represented on that bracelet. Thank you for sharing. I also believe that your moms know that her son's name is there, but it is nice for those she left behind in your family to be able to visit and see their names together.

Thanks for your comment on my Winter Shed 2013 post, looking forward to reading yours soon and helping each other to reach our goals in the New Year!