...John Patrick McLaughlin was born...7 weeks early.
It was supposed to be a joyous occasion. He was the "light at the end of the tunnel"... our first grandchild.
Instead, every October 19, I wonder how big he would be. This year, he would be seven. Probably in first grade. (I had two first grade boys come in a couple of days ago with cupcakes. It was one of their birthdays...SEVEN...that helped remind me how big he would be...)
Fort started her blog after her first reoccurence - so this part of the journey is missing on the blog.
When Melissa was first diagnosed, a port was put in for chemo - (she actually posted links to info on ports when she had the second one put in). It was before this procedure that she found out she was pregnant (they did the routine blood/urinalysis).
That night, John came up after work. She told him then. SHe waited two weeks to tell me. We went to lunch after one of her doctor appts. We knew the waiter, and she asked him to put her in a section that was closed. She needed to tell her mom something, and she was afraid "she'll scream". I didn't. I was in shock.
But OF COURSE Melissa convinced me that everything would be ok. She had all her ducks in a row on this one. They would do a mastectomy first, and by the time she was recovered from the mastectomy, she would be in the second trimester of her pregnancy and it was ok to get chemo after the second trimester. THEN I started to get a little excited. She was happy. No, ECSTATIC. She had a partner (along with John) in all this.
He was the light at the end of the tunnel.
There was some talk of early labor because of the chemo. But not to worry. A positive attitude goes a long way. Then we found out the baby was a boy. I had just bought her a book of names - it would be an IRISH name for sure. There was a list a mile long for a girls name - but only one for a boy. John Patrick. JP.
And so it was. We were waiting for the arrival of John Patrick.
And here I am today. Thinking that I should be posting pictures of JP's 7th birthday, instead of taking him a balloon.
Two years ago on his fifth birthday, Melissa posted. "I never thought I would be visiting my son at the cemetery on his fifth birthday".
And here I am thinking, I shouldn't be visiting my grandson at the cemetery. But I know his mom will give him the best 7th birthday ever.
She always found a way to turn something bad into something positive. It's really hard to do that (for me). I miss them both so much.
I have to mention here the reason for this post. When I was growing up, every year on my birthday, my mom would say "on the day you were born"...and TELL me about the day I was born. I loved that.
So I did it with my kids. And I will do it with my grandchildren. And I had to do it for JP too. These are my memories of HIS birthday.
So there you go.
Happy Birthday JP. We love you and wish so much we could celebrate your birthday WITH you.