Yesterday, after I commented on some pictures a friend posted of herself on Facebook when she was pregnant with her son, we got talking about being pregnant. I was 30 weeks behind her, but for a while we were pregnant at the same time. She asked me if Thomas was a "kicky pants", if he ever got the hiccups, and if he poked me all the time like her cheeky little monkey (who is now a great big almost five-year old!) did.
We traded stories, back and forth.
Yes, Thomas got the hiccups a few times later on in my pregnancy. I remember the gentle, rhythmic movements and feeling so terrible that I couldn't do a thing to stop them except talk soothingly to my lumpy belly while I rubbed it.
No, Thomas wasn't a kicky pants. He was an acrobat - moving in and out of breech position long after he should have had room to do so - but a relatively gentle one. He used to poke me regularly in one spot, just under my left rib cage, and he used to tap dance on my bladder every once in a while. But mostly, he was calm and gentle.
As we chatted, my friend and I, it got me thinking about how nice it was to talk about Thomas without talking about Thomas dying.
We all know how the story ends, so it was really nice to focus on the middle bit for a while instead. Reliving those perfect, blissful moments when he was alive and thriving. And I was undamaged and happy.
It made me miss him like crazy, but it also made him feel so very, very real again.
While it's busy bringing healing, time also has a cruel way of stealing the reality of a lost child. It dulls the only memories you have of that little one, taking you farther and farther away from the moments you had together.
It's a necessary evil, I understand that, because we desperately need the the healing time brings.
But we need the memories too, and I'm so grateful to my friend for not being afraid to ask. For talking to me like she would talk to any "normal" mother. And for bringing the happiest times I spent with my little boy back to me for a while.
I smiled so much yesterday.