Yesterday was the Super Bowl. I planned out some delicious goodies (black bean-quinoa nachos, anyone?), went for a run, had a great morning with the kids. I knew the day would be hard. What's hard about Super Bowl Sunday? I mean, it's just a football game.
But a Giants-Patriots match-up is more than a game for me, emotionally that is. It's a trigger... A gateway back a few years. And, as the commentators kept talking about "the same game four years ago", it was something else for the me that was there four years ago... The me holding her dead son in her arms and feeling her daughter kick away from the inside... The me watching that game and feeling as though my very breathing was dependent upon the Giants winning an unwinable game... breaking a full-season winning streak for the Patriots...
We didnt even watch football, save the rare game when a fan was visiting. It was 'just a game'. No big deal.
Why was that one so important? Why did I take hold of that Super Bowl in 2008, as though somehow the underdogs winning would give me some guarantee that Sophia would live another moment? Why did their winning become intertwined with me leaving the hospital, still pregnant, for those precious days?
The game earlier in the season that rematched NY and NE was a tough one to watch, and it was a nailbiter, as the Giants eventually came out on top. But it was just a game. Albeit one that was hard to watch, one that I got through relatively unscathed.
But yesterday. Oh yesterday.
I spent a fair amount of the first quarter in the bedroom, bawling. TV on, listening, but in tears. Head buried in Nicholas's blanket... Fingers touching their hats... Looking at the polaroids from CHOP, before we'd gone to HUP. Putting their small hospital bands on my finger... Looking at their names and weights and birthdays on the little birth certificate cards... Even the crematory cards and little stuffed animals from the hospital. Hot, salty tears...
The second quarter I hovered between the snacks in the kitchen and the living room, eating, trying to laugh, verge of tears. Although halftime brought a flood of what-do-you-mean-we're-behind-by-one-point anger, LOL. :) We watched a cartoon instead of the halftime show, and switched back to the third quarter while the kids took a bath.
Then we turned it off and went to bed.
Part of it was that neither of us wanted to see the end. Because, win or lose, it didnt matter. There would be no repeat... No way to hold Nicholas again, or feel Sophia moving inside again. A repeat of a 4 year old Super Bowl wasnt going to give us that again. We laid in bed and talked... Held each other... Remembered.... Discussed how what we fantasize about is a life with all five of them playing together and laughing together... a life that could never be. That never would have been. A dream that we can have, but not the life we were meant to live. And this is the life we would choose. Over and over again. To have them all, even if not as we'd initially thought... Hoped... Dreamed of...
This morning, we watched the 4th quarter (thank you DVR). Watched the game winning (and losing) plays... Cheered for the boys in blue. Looked at each other with a knowing look as we remembered cheering them 4 years ago, from a hospital bed in what seems like a world far, far away.
But when the commentators mentioned how it was the same ending, I felt the lump in my throat rise. The same ending. Just not for us.
Thank God, not for us.