I've always been close to my maternal grandmother. Part of it was that I never felt "different" as an adopted child; she loved me just the same. We were close enough that we could joke about her having X and a half grandkids (with me the half). It was our private joke. And I think it is probably one of the things that shows, to me, how we felt (and still feel) about each other.
After Nicholas was born, Mamaw called me at least every other day to see how we were. She'd share something from the Bible that she'd read (she's read through it, completely, near 20 times and reads it every single day) or would give us citations to look up to help with our grief and our stress and fear for Sophia. But, it wasnt until then, until I'd lost a son too, that she shared with me the details of when she lost her son.
My mom has 2 younger sisters. She has 5 other siblings, though. Two babies were miscarried early, but her brother was born around 6 months gestation, on October 16th. In the mid-late 1960s. I dont know the year, only that he was inbetween my mom and my (oldest) aunt. They lived "in the country" near my grandfather's family. I wont share all the details but when my uncle was delivered early, he was never given to my grandmother but was whisked away and buried. She was told that he was dead, that it was better she never see him or hold him, and, in her grief, that she should try to get pregnant again and forget. But you never forget. Not a day goes by that you forget.
I remember being on the phone with her, as she shared with me how she felt back then as though it were that day. Those memories were clear and vivid. How she begged to see and hold her son. How she questioned "Are you sure?" over and over again. I remember questioning well after we knew our children had passed and had medical staff confirm it; I cant imagine being at home and never seeing the babies and having to take someone else's word for it. She was always told that yes, they were sure... But you still wonder.
There is no grave that marks where my uncle was laid to rest. No flowers bloom in his absence. There is no stone that lists his name or that he was so loved and is very missed. He is buried on the land that my great grandfather owned. And sometimes, when the wind hits the trees just right, you may be able to hear him whisper a cry that tells us he is okay and will see us again one day.
So today, as you remember your babies and mine, please remember hers. All three of them. But especially Christopher Michael on his birthday. She wont know you are remembering them in her conscience state, but her heart will know and, as she goes through today with a silent grief, that will be her comfort.