Summer is a time of year that usually made me so happy. It is a time of getting outside and enjoying the sunshine and singing birds along with the beautiful flowers in every one's yards. What a great time to be strolling my baby, but he was in the ground, although I knew in my heart he really wasn't in the ground......he was watching us from Heaven. I enjoyed my time with James, Jr. by visiting his grave. The ground was warm and there were green trees and grass with a pond near by. I always made sure his grave had flowers or some type of baby decoration. His foot stone had been laid by now. I had fallen in love with the tiny baby booties many people had knitted for us, so I wanted his foot stone to have baby booties on it. It also had his full name and date of birth and death. I always noticed the names of the other babies on foot stones or head stones. I wanted a headstone, but it was just too much money for us at that time. I always had the same facial expression, the face of grief. I didn't want that face or the way my voice sounded....mundane. It was hard to get excited about anything. Each month became a time of disappointment as I was not getting pregnant again. I knew another baby would never replace our sweet baby James, but I wanted a baby to hold. I would always tell him or her about our first son and show where he was laid to rest.
As time passed, I did the motions to get out of my despair. James and I always enjoyed weekends on the Pamlico River where we did most of our dating. We were both boating lovers and it was natural for us to be out on our boat. I tried my best to enjoy those times and they did help. Really. It was good to be out with our boating friends. I just wished I could shake this burden of grief that weighed a ton on my shoulders constantly.
I was home alone one night while James was working. I was in one of times when you fall off the cliff and was engulfed with grief. I was praying with all of my heart and soul as tears of hurt ran down my cheeks. Then I saw The Billy Graham Crusades on TV. I wasn't a usual watcher of these programs, but I was desperate to hear of hope. His program was very good and seemed to just speak to me. I bowed down and gave my life to Christ for the second time in my life. It had more meaning to me that night than anything. Afterward, I called the number on the TV screen and got grief counseling. Days later I received material from the Billy Graham Association about grief called, When A Child Dies and one called Clouds. A also got a personal letter of sympathy. I let God in more than ever on my journey. I was glad.
School started in August. I was glad to get back with my teacher friends and students. The beginning of a school year has always been a fresh start. So was this one. I didn't bring to school this year a pregnancy or baby, just the baby in my heart hidden in silence. My friends there were so up beat and supportive for me. I felt so comfortable.
We took a trip to the NC mountains with friends James had since childhood. It was a great get away, but the cloud of grief hung over. We also did some antiquing for our new home while there.
I was back enjoying my bridge groups and often had dinner parties at our home. I enjoyed entertaining and it kept me busy. I kept hope month after month for a new pregnancy, but there was none. That week out of the month was always a hard one for me.
That October 12th my nephew was having his 2nd birthday party at my parents home since they had a wonderful backyard and fenced in! It was a beautiful party on a hot October sunny day. I loved my nephew and enjoyed his party. I enjoyed being home. I remember the dress I wore and the face I wore. It was a happy face mixed with sadness. You just can't hide the sadness no matter how much you want to! If I had just been pregnant by now! During the party, I learned that my brother's wife was pregnant and due in March of 1976. What? She already had two healthy children! I was happy for her. She has always been so kind to me. I could feel her uneasiness around me. That was her way of veing thoughtful. You see, she had loss two children to miscarriage and new the feeling of loss. I wished her well, but still wanted people wishing me well on my wanted pregnancy. I knew my family was pulling for me, but what do you say?
Thanksgiving came that November of 1975. It was not a bad day. I tried to think of all the things I needed to be thankful for. I just thought as I ate at the Fitts Family Thanksgiving table that this was the one year I had nothing to be thankful for. No pregnancy and my baby James' first Thanksgiving in Heaven. I WAS thankful for Heaven always as it was my son's home now.
Christmas was nearing and so was my other sister-in-law's due date in December. Remember, she was the one who told me she was pregnant while I was still in the hospital after giving birth to my stillborn son, James, Jr. I was dreading my first Christmas without my son and the new baby. I think I would have been far more happy about the new baby if it were not told to me the way it was. Also, her constant smoking while carrying her baby knowing well the dangers it proposed to her unborn baby, including having a stillborn baby. My MIL smoked around her non stop also. I think that in itself showed to me they had no clue the pain having a stillborn can be like.