When we were putting together Ryan's nursery, finding a rocking chair was one of the biggest challenges. We sat in all kinds of fancy, plush, and luxurious rockers and gliders, but for some reason I was stuck on the idea of getting a traditional wooden rocker. I took my search online where I found a beauitful option. But the blonde oak finish did not work for my nursery plan. I sent the link to a friend and asked if I'd be crazy to buy it and try to stain it darker. Immediately she responded with a photo of her own. The exact same chair, stained a dark walnut colour. It belonged to her, and was the chair she used to rock her two babies in when they were small(er).
She lent it to us and soon I was spending a lot of time in that chair. I'd go up to Ryan's room to just sit and think. Imagine what life was going to be like with him there with me. I'd sit, and look into his crib and try to imagine who he'd look like sleeping there. I'd rock him in my belly and think about the amazing feeling it would be when I was rocking him in my arms. Occasionally, I would read to him. When Rich caught wind of our reading together, he wanted in on the action.
So, one day, I sat in the chair, Rich sat on the floor next to us, and he picked Robert Munsch's Love You Forever off the shelf. He read the words, and I sang the song. In terms of cheesiness, I'm sure it wins the contest. But it was also one of my fondest memories from my pregnancy. It was a real moment of feeling like a family. It was a moment I saw Rich so clearly as a dad. I knew in that moment that it was one of those memories you'll think about at the end of your life. In that moment, I know in my heart, that Ryan knew how much he was loved and wanted.
When it came time to make arrangements for Ryan's resting place, I knew I needed that moment recognized somehow. We had "As long as we're living, our baby you'll be." engraved on his niche at the cemetery. When I visit him there, it helps me remember that moment. When he was so alive, and we were whole together.
A few weeks after he died and we were deciding what baby stuff should be put away, and what would get to stay, I contacted my friend about her chair. She didn't want it back. Not yet, anyway. She told me to hold on it. And we both know it's so that maybe someday soon, I'll get to rock a baby in my arms, instead of only in my heart.