"Are you celebrating anything in particular tonight?"
It was such a simple question, but I could not find the right words to answer her. It felt like an eternity that I stared at her blankly, though I'm sure it was only a short breath. My mind was swirling.
"Why would she ask that? They never ask that! How does she define 'celebrate'? 'Commemorate', sure, but this is not really a 'celebration'. Why won't he answer? Would you call this a celebration, Babe? I guess we're kind of celebrating something. Kind of. But celebrations are happy. And I'm not."
"Just a date," I finally responded with a forced smile. I felt guilty, as if I had lied to our poor waitress. That dear girl had no idea what she was asking.
"Of course, she had to ask that tonight," I said to Nate after she took our drink orders. "I know," he responded.
We both stared at the table and subconsciously fingered our rings.
It was our first date in months. We both dressed up. We picked a nice restaurant. He even opened the door for me.
Special - that's the word for it! Not a "celebration", but it was a very special night. It was our Micah date.
A few weeks earlier Nate surprised me by ordering some new rings for both of us with our sweet baby's name engraved in them. "Our baby can't be in any of our family pictures," he said, "but at least this way Micah can be represented in them." What a beautiful, sweet, tangible way to honor our beloved baby whom we had lost.
We waited weeks for them to be finished, and as soon as he got the call we arranged for childcare and made the plans for our evening of honoring our precious Micah. We went to the jeweler and picked up our treasures and headed to dinner.
Our hearts were heavy as we put the rings on our fingers. We would so much rather have our baby's tiny fingers wrapped around our own than this cold metal. We would rather call our baby's name than read it etched in gold. As much as we love to see the ring and think about the sweetness of being Micah's parents, it pains us to feel the ring when we hold hands knowing it's merely a symbol of our baby because we can't hold our baby itself.
I want morning sickness more than a fancy dinner. I wish with all my heart I was still preparing for sleepless nights with a newborn. I would rather the maternal fear of what could happen to my child instead of grief over what has already taken place. I would rather have Micah than my ring.
But I treasure this ring. I treasure my husband's heart behind it. It's hard to look at it and "celebrate", but oh, how special it is to me.