Knowing what I know now, would I tell my former self to cherish every moment with Jackson because there wouldn't be many of them? I don’t know. The overriding feeling that I had during the month that he was with us was one of hope. If someone had come to me on the day he was born and said he would only live a month, I worry that my whole outlook would have been different. I wouldn't have loved him any less. Neither would it be possible for me to have loved him any more than I do to this day.
Knowing that I had a limited amount of time with Jackson certainly would have prompted me to make different decisions regarding returning to work while he was still in the hospital. I think that will be something that I will forever regret, that I “wasted” some of the time that I could have been with him. Hindsight is always 20/20 (or better) and this is no exception.
I would hate to have had any knowledge of things that would happen in the future with Jackson that would have diminished the hope that I had for him to make a full recovery every day of his life. The hope is what carried me through each day and even after he was gone, it was hope for brighter days that carried me through the dark days after his passing. I hoped for another chance to have a little boy or girl in my arms and I was able to see that hope fulfilled.
October 25th and November 26th have become two of the hardest days of the year for my family and me, but we come together as one and draw strength from each other. I encourage you to do the same if you have experience a similar loss. Don’t shy away from the loss, but celebrate the person who was and is with you in your heart. They may be gone from your life, but their memory can live on forever if you make a point to think about them every day. Tell people about them and what they did, the way they smiled and the stories that they loved. These are all ways in which you can keep that memory alive, not just for yourself, but for anyone you tell.