I didn't forget the anniversary of Miles' coming and going this year, but for the first time ever, I skipped blogging on that day. I still don't know why: obviously I haven't been blogging much lately, but honestly I did intend to keep up the tradition with my annual reflections on life and death and children and loss. I did have things to say; I did have a story to tell, I just didn't have the spark. It felt too big this year, bigger than me and bigger than my voice.
When really, it wasn't a big deal at all. It was looking like a nice weekend, so Bruce and I took Vivian car camping near Mt. Hood, her first camp-out ever. To celebrate Miles' birthday, we did the things we thought an 8-year old boy would like to do: we ate S'mores before dinner, and again for breakfast, we didn't eat a single vegetable, we walked across the raging river on downed trees, and, since we were the only people in the campground, we screamed "Happy Birthday Miles" over and over again at the top of our voices.
He seems more real to me this year than most, probably because after two years of waiting, I am finally an active volunteer photographer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, the foundation that sends photographers to the hospital rooms of families whose new babies won't be coming home. In the past month I have photographedmet and photographed five newly bereaved families, and not one of their babies reminded me of our Miles.
These photographs aren't the kind of shots I can or would share; they are private and shared only with the family. But believe me when I say that every shot is a memory made tangible for a family who will have far too few memories of their child. I look over my few fuzzy photographs of Miles and wish that Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep had been operating in our area when Miles came and went.