Saturday, November 14, 2009

Eleven

Today was my due date in 1998 (the original one of several I was given). It could have been today, or earlier, or later -- but in an alternate universe of happy endings, sometime about now, Katie would have been celebrating her 11th birthday. I saw the Little Girl Next Door outside on her bicycle today, and wondered once again whether she & Katie would have been friends & pictured the two of them together at Katie's birthday party.

My due date, for me, has never had quite the same significance as my loss dates. It's a lot harder for me to imagine what might have been than to remember what was. Emotionally, I don't think it's ever packed the same sort of punch for me (except maybe surviving it, that very first year).

But I couldn't help but think of our little girl today & wonder (for the millionth time) about what might have been. It was a nice day outside, and dh & I took advantage of it by venturing out into our big, kid-friendly but little-used backyard and raking up the leaves that have fallen off the trees over the past few weeks.

One of the trees is "Katie's tree." We didn't start out to plant a tree in Katie's memory. The neighbours have some big maple trees that overhang our yard, & from time to time, the maple keys will sprout in my backyard flower beds & planters into little miniature trees. I normally pull them up without much thought. About a year after we lost Katie, one such hardy sprout made it through the winter unpulled, & had gotten so large that dh took a shine to it and decided to plant it as "Katie's tree." I wasn't sure it would survive (& it pained me to think of the tree meeting the same fate as its namesake -- which is why we didnt' plant a tree in her memory before that) -- but it did. It grew & grew, tall and straight, and must be at least 30 feet high now. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of it to show you here -- must remember to take one sometime!

So I looked up at Katie's tree & marvelled at how big it's grown -- just as I'm sure I would have been marvelling at my daughter, if she were here. Dh & I raked 11 bags full of leaves -- which somehow seemed entirely appropriate. ; ) We showered & went out for dinner & toasted our daughter with Coke.

I can't believe she'd be 11.

Last year's post (10 years old)

Two years ago (9 years old)

22 comments:

  1. Remembering with you, and so glad for the solace of Katie's tree.

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  2. wow, 11. thinking of you, dh, and katie today.

    we have a lemon tree that I planted, and although it blooms it never fruits. poetic, no?

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  3. Hi and thanks for sharing

    Sorry seems a fairly paltry offering but I still think it is important to say it. Sorry you were not hosting a birthday party today and each of the last 11 years. Sorry you didn't get to enjoy each of the 364 days in between each birthday. Sorry you have known the road less travelled.

    Everytime I reflect on the loss of our daughter Abigail and on our troubles with infertility and subsequent infertility diagnosis, I come back to the fact that we have a son who is now nearly five and of course I am so grateful for him. I wish you had this too. Since you don't I pray you know peace and happiness in your future.

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  4. My due date holds the same significance to me. It's not nearly as hard as the loss date, but still, so hard.

    Happy would-be birthday, Katie. Wish you were here with your mom.

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  5. Oh Loribeth. I both seek out and loathe those signs that time is indeed passing by at a quick clip. I have them in my garden, too.

    Thinking of Katie at eleven, and sending you all much love.

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  6. Reading this post today, just after I posted, was almost a confirmation of my decision. In a weird, weird way. Hug.

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  7. Thinking of you and Katie and all that should have been. I have had several plants given to me to remmember Caleb by and most of them I have killed or they died. But there is one rose bush, that has survived, despite my apparant ability to destroy plants, and every time it blooms a new bud, I feel a certain peace.
    A 30 foot tall tree sounds like an amazing sight and vision to pay tribute to your daughter.

    xxoo

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  8. Stopping by from Mel's comment chain...

    Remembering your girl with you, and sending you warm thoughts and prayers for peace for your heart.

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  9. Thinking of you and remembering as well.

    I would love to see a pic of Katie's tree sometime.

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  10. I'm thinking of Katie. Much love to all of you.

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  11. I would have been thrilled to know another November baby.

    {{hugs}} Thinking of you and Katie today. (and really, always.)

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  12. ah, 11. Hope this time is peaceful for you.

    (And I've never heard them called maples keys)

    Several of our neighbors offered to donate a tree in the park near here for Serenity, but we declined because we thought it might not make it either. Talk about pessimism. I am glad Katie's tree could restore some faith and hope for you.

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  13. I am hardly attached to C's due date. I am (only) firmly attached to the day that he died.

    Remembering Katie. XO.

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  14. Joining in with sympathy and remembrance for Katie. *hugs* to you, Loribeth.

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  15. Your posts about Katie bring forth so many emotions. Sadness at the absense of Katie, strength at your resilience, awe at seeing her and reminders of her in your eyes.

    Remembering with you.

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  16. I'm glad you planted that tree. I expect it comforts you to know that the memory of her has taken root and grown tall, silent and present.

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  17. I'm glad you planted that tree. I expect it comforts you to know that the memory of her has taken root and grown tall, silent and present.

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  18. the image of you looking up at her tree... it was just so moving. thinking of you and your sweet katie on her 11th birthday

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  19. I love that the tree has grown up in Katie's memory. Happy Birthday Katie.

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  20. Sorry I am late to this, but thinking of your precious Katie.

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