As we approach the ten month mark since the birth of the twins, I am in awe of how much time has passed already. It seems surreal that this is the life we are living and just how quickly time is flying.
I absolutely hate the saying "everything happens for a reason". This saying is very impersonal and is gut-wrenching to a lot of people. Especially, those whom have lost a loved one. Although I absolutely despise this saying, I have often found myself looking for the "reason" of why Nick and I were dealt the hand we were given. It's amazing the people you meet because of it. Over the past ten months, Nick and I have met some wonderful people, that, unfortunately share in our experience with their own heartache.
I've come to the conclusion that although I still cannot explain the reason that we lost our son, or the reason why God felt that He needed Peyton, I can tell you that I am pulled in the direction of giving back. AND, in the direction of helping other grieving parents in any way that I possibly can.
One of the absolute toughest questions to answer, I've found, is "how many children do you have?" The struggle is real. How do I answer this question? On one hand, I LOVE hearing the sound of Peyton's name, and I do like to tell his story. I have immense guilt if I don't tell his story. I don't for one second ever want his life, his existence, to be diminished. On the other hand, I don't want to make the person asking the question uncomfortable. And, to be perfectly honest, some days, I just don't have the energy to want to talk about everything that Nick and I have been through over the past year and a half.
Someone I met through a support group that Nick and I joined through Children's Mercy gave me some great advice. Some advice that I have found very helpful and thought I would share.
Give as much information as the person asking the question asks for.
Q: "How many children do you have?"
A: "I have three children."
Q: "Boys? Girls?"
A: "I have a daughter and 2 sons."
Q: "What are their names?"
A: "Kaylee, Preston and Peyton"
Q: "What are their ages?"
A: "Kaylee is 3 and Preston and Peyton are twins. Preston is almost ten months and unfortunately, Peyton is in Heaven now." Some days, I go into Peyton's story and other days, I leave it at that. It totally depends on the person I'm talking to and the mood I'm in.
I am telling you all this, not to make you feel sorry for me. Not to draw attention. I am hoping that if someone out there is going through this same struggle this helps them. It's honestly, my most dreaded question and I am hoping that I can help others.