It's a strange holiday to celebrate the eve of a New Year - remember the old friends we've forgotten so we can forget them again...or something like that.
I am trying to put on my brave face. I hate today. December 31st still only reminds me of what I've lost. I know as with all anniversaries of sad things, they eventually soften in their meaning because we can't spend our lives in negative space. But on this 5th anniversary, the pain is still raw.
I found out I was pregnant with our first child on April 28, 2001. We did what I think most married couples do when they receive that expected news - we went shopping. We held up tiny little clothes. We tried to imagine how this small person would change our lives. In my mind, I was already picturing a little boy running circles around my life, knocking stuff over. Just 2 days later, when the obstetric nurse grimaced and said she couldn't say whether this pregnancy was doomed, the little boy was already graduating cum laude from Yale. He was in love with a pretty brunette who was going on to law school, and they were packing up their things in our old Buick and moving to the Midwest.
It wasn't a dream that fleeting away in a moment. It was 6 weeks of "things look bleak" or "things might still be OK". It wasn't until after our 5th anniversary that the nightmare was finally over. Then through four months of waiting to find out if we'd be able to have children. Once that was over, there was still December 31st that came without the little boy I'd dreamed about, and there was the terror that accompanied the first few weeks of our 3 subsequent pregnancies.
I know from the other losses I've had in my life that eventually, I will stop picturing the little boy sitting earnestly in front of his birthday cake. Eventually New Year's Eve will go back to being a fun day to spend with friends rather than the psychological equivalent of grinning while holding on with white knuckles. But it's not today. Today I'm sad.