Today I am thinking about my sweet nephew Joseph Trey. Today I should be making a call to wish him the happiest 12th birthday and it should be a day of celebration. It's hard for me to picture a 12 year old Joseph, in my mind he is always that precious tiny baby I held 12 years ago today.
My day started very early that morning with a phone call to wake me. As I came to alertness it hit me that it must be "the call" to let me know that Joseph was born. When I answered however it was my other brother Doug's voice on the other end. My thoughts of joy were immediately replaced with panic and fear since I knew that it would only be Doug if things went wrong. I asked if the baby had been born and he said "yes, but" and I interrupted and said "did Kristen not make it?" and he said no she's ok, so then I asked "the baby?" and he said the cord was wrapped around the his neck and he did not make it.
My immediate response was to throw on clothes and head to my brother George's house. My roommate at the time was now awake and I told her what had happened. She offered to drive me over, but I declined since I had no concept of what was going to happen, or when I would return. I got in my truck and drove over.
When I got there my Mom was there and the two older boys were still in bed asleep. George and Kristen were still at the hospital. All that I remember from that point was thinking that their house was totally prepped for Joseph, his name was on the fridge with magnets, the nursery was all set up, the boy's "big brother" ribbons were set out on the table and then thinking about if it would be appropriate to take down or hide some of that. I opted not to. I'm glad that I didn't because they left those fridge magnets up for quite some time.
The boys woke up on the early side and I remember going in there and telling JP who was about 22 months at the time "you sure are an early bird" and to that he started saying "tweet, tweet, tweet". Mom and I got the boys up and going. George and Kristen came home later that morning and were understandably distraught. They went into their room and rested while we entertained the boys.
Eventually when other family arrived and George came back out he said we could go and see Joseph at the hospital, so Mom and I went. I remember walking in and the nurses knew right away where to direct us. I'm sure they mostly get to be around happy people who are ecstatic about bringing life into the world and it's incredibly hard when a baby is lost. They took us into his private room where they had him swaddled in a blanket in a bassinet. He was so perfect, it seemed like he should just open his eyes. Mom and I took turns holding him for a while. It was so hard to lay him back in the bassinet and walk away, I can't imagine how George and Kristen were able to do that.
So today I remember baby Joe and try to imagine what he would be like today. He had a head full of dark hair at birth, but the other four boys have some variation of blond, so I wonder if his would have lightened up. The other four boys have some variation of brown eyes, from dark brown to hazel, so I wonder if he would have had brown eyes, or would they have been blue since my brother's eyes are blue and Kristen's siblings each have blue eyed kids. It's hard to imagine, and think about how differently things would have been had he made it.