Advent in the life of the church is a period of very deliberate reflection. We stop each Sunday, and indeed each day, and we reflect. The reflections are ordered and orderly. We move through a series of prayers, prayers that are fundamental to church life. These prayers, the ideals they represent, they have a beginning and an end, starting with hope, moving through peace and joy and love, and ending with the lighting of the Christ Candle on Christmas Eve.

Behind the backdrop of expectation and hope, Mr. Spit and I walk through these days, from today, to the day of Baptism after Christmas, that our son will not be present at. As we walk through the memories of this dark and lonely time, plodding, dragging our feet and struggling to look like we are at all joyful about Christmas, we are not reflecting on joy.

If we were not present for advent last year, at least in spirit, we are left behind this year. While others are anticipating, expecting, waiting, we are living in the past. We are walking through the steps of last year. Our memory preoccupied. Our hearts empty and our eyes full.

For about 6 weeks now, I have remembered last year, juxtaposed to this year. I have imagined that if I only screamed loud enough, I could warn the me from last year. I know that I am powerless to change the outcome, but maybe I could have prepared myself. I have pictured myself with a Lent metaphor, as a lamb led to slaughter. I stop, during my day, and I remember back to a year ago. I remember where I was, and what was happening. I mark out my own emotions, my own moments.

I woke up today, remembering a sensation from hiking, where you start descending a mountain trail, and somehow, suddenly, you found yourself losing your footing, losing your balance, and you are, quite without your intention, you are running down a hill. And while it may still look like you are in control, you alone know that you don't have any control over your legs, and it will only take one badly placed rock, a sudden turn in the path, and you will be gone.

And so I am going to take a miss on Advent this year. At least for a bit. I am going to stop wanting hope, and instead chose to remember, deliberately. To reflect on what was, and then so suddenly, what was not.


Today I will mark the day I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. The first day that nothing was as it should be, the first day of the slide to disaster and terror and sorrow.

Today my little one, we saw you for the second time. And you were so still. And then we saw the doctor. We were so frightened, but so hopeful. We believed that this would be ok. We told you to hang in there. We asked for a strip of the fetal monitoring paper for your baby book and joked that we were going to take away more of your allowance for scaring us like this.

Tonight I got to the case room at the hospital, and my blood pressure was 215/120 and we realized that this was not going to be simple or easy. We learned new names, new terms. Today the word high risk pregnancy entered our lives. Tonight, for the first time, I heard the words "in case you need to not be pregnant any more."

And today was the beginning of the end, for all of us.

Still missing you.