My brother

Today is Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  I have not known the pain or grief of miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss, but my mom has.  I was only three when my baby brother was born.  I remember demanding to see “my baby” when my parents came home from the hospital.  My mom held the baby blanket in her arms like it was a security blanket, but there was no baby.  I will never forget the look on her face when I asked her where my baby was.  She tried to smile through her pain and sadness.  In that moment I felt like I would do anything to make her happy again. 

My dad had taken my sister and I to the funeral Mass a few days prior to my mom coming home from the hospital.  I remember sitting up in the front row of church which was unusual.  I knelt on the pew alongside Daddy, and I looked at this little white box up in front.  So many of our family and friends were there, but Mommy was still in the hospital. 

After my youngest Skeeter was born, my dad’s three sisters all remarked in the hushed, reverent tones that they used to talk about him, “she looks just like Christopher”.  The only pictures that we have of my brother are Polaroids that my aunts took after he had passed.  I look at Skeeter now, and I wonder if she still looks like her uncle that she will never know. 

I know not a day goes by that my mom does not think of my brother.  I know that it was a painful loss for both my parents to endure.  The reminders of that loss kept coming up as both my sister and I had children of our own. Would her grandchildren have the same heart defect that my brother had – pulmonary atresia?  Thankfully all four of her granddaughters are healthy and happy.  With each successful anatomy ultrasound and each health birth, my mom seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.  I do not think that she was even aware how much of that emotion she was keeping in. 

Today I think of my beautiful brother and the loving family he left far too soon.  We miss you very much, and we love you.  You are always in our thoughts, and your memory lives on in our hearts.  We are blessed to have a beautiful family, but we are still missing a part of our family, you.  No one or nothing can take your place in our family.  We are grateful for our blessings, but we also mourn your loss.

About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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17 Responses to My brother

  1. Jen, I am so sorry.

    I know this has become part of the tapestry of your life. Every thread in there, though painful, a golden one that makes you who you are.

    I am so sorry for you as a sister waiting for a baby to come home, and for your dear, dear mother: the strength to go on, because she had to.

    How did she do it.

    • tranquilamama says:

      Alexandra,
      Thank you so much. My mother is my hero. I have asked her many times how she did it. She told me that she had two little girls at home who needed her. She just took it day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment.

  2. katery says:

    your poor mother, i cannot even imagine.

  3. I have friends and relatives who have experienced miscarriages and other friends who had babies born still, but, to my knowledge, have not been quite as close as you have.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and your mother’s (and of course, the rest of your family). Recovering from such a loss is hard enough, but having to do it while raising other small children and trying to help them understand, when there is just no way to really do that, would be heartwrenching. I can only imagine how you, as the big (yet still so little) sister looking forward to meeting “your baby”, would have struggled to understand.

    Huge hugs. What a beautiful tribute to your brother, and to all babies who didn’t stay.

  4. Jess says:

    Prayers to everyone today who has gone through this. My heart can’t even imagine.

  5. Bev Burczyk says:

    Jen, I am so proud of the woman you have becme and the mother you are to the girls. You are a very strong person and have been able to get through your postpartum depression and anxiety. You will continue to grow and overcome obstacles in your life with the help of Luke, Mom and Dad and all above all with God’s help.

  6. Bonnie Pody says:

    Thank you for sharing Christopher’s story. You have captured both Dad and my feelings at the passing of Christopher. We were blessed to have two beautiful daughters. You and your sister helped us cope with our loss even though you were so young. Our faith and our families assisted us on this very difficult journey. We love you and your sister and are so proud of the women you have become. All our love to you.

  7. Oh how awful.😥 Many hugs and love.

  8. Gwen says:

    Beautiful tribute Jenny…. you are a strong woman. I can see where you inherited that trait. I love how your family continues to honor his memory and find peace in your faith, knowing Christopher is with Jesus. No better place than with Him. It is clear that Christopher’s short life had a huge impact and purpose in your family’s life. Thank you for allowing us all to be blessed by his story and honor his memory.

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