Like many of the other posts sitting on my computer, I'm not sure why I decided not to post this one when I wrote it….but I'm ready to share now.  And to that Mommy out there in my shoes, you know who you are…keep living…for the baby you will lose, and the baby on the way. Angels are real and Mommy strength is the greatest strength of all.



I owe you this letter and I have a feeling you will read it
many times before you get to an age where you truly understand its meaning. By
then, I’m hoping there are very little surprises hidden in here. First, your
mother is a flawed person. A very flawed person (I’m sure you're chuckling at
this one). Second, someone came before you. That someone is your brother,
Teddy. And third, I love you. I love you with all of my heart.


You are also going to read that before you were even born, I
contemplated not keeping you. And you can be mad at me for this- you are
entitled to anger. But this is not an apology letter. That thought was a
reflection of where I was before you were born, a reflection of where I was
caring for your terminally ill brother. I knew your brother’s time here on
earth was limited, and I felt like caring for another child, a newborn
nonetheless, was unfair to him. While here, he deserved our undivided
attention. He did, Royce. I also didn’t want you to be looked at as a replacement
child. Because as you know, there is no replacing Teddy. And as you know, you
are not second best, you are not a replacement, you are my Royce.


And I wasn’t concerned what others would think, I was
concerned what your brother would think. I wanted him to know that I could
never replace him, that he would always be part of our family, that he would be
more than a name on a card, a stocking on a fireplace, or a picture in a frame.
Teddy will always be my first child, my oldest child, and your big brother. And I know at times that must have felt
strange to you…to be raised with a big brother you never met, a big brother
that isn’t physically here. But Teddy lives on in us. He was and always will be
a defining part of our family and our history. So yes, I’m sure it is and always
will be frustrating that your brother sits on a pedestal as a perfect human
being. But he was… he was never given a chance to be anything else. He never
talked back, he never ignored me, or felt embarrassed by me. He was an angel.
You’re not. You have an attitude, opinions, and an eye-roll that I’m sure
will be the bane of my existence. But you learned it all from the best. You are
no angel- and you’re not supposed to be. You’re suppose to make mistakes, have
experiences, and maybe even learn a thing or two from me. But that’s normal.
Teddy didn’t have anything to learn. He came here to teach, whereas the rest of
us came here to be taught. That separates the angels from the rest of us…


Royce, you were not a mistake. You were planned, you were
wanted, you were a gift and a blessing that came when you should have. You
brought light to my very darkest days. And while your brother is an angel of
the heavenly sort- you are an angle of an earthly sort. You saved me from me (and
probably from a few trips to the Betty,) and that’s something I think you will
truly understand when you have children of your own. When I lost your brother I
was 22 weeks pregnant with you. And getting that phone call and hearing that
you were healthy the same day I found out your brother would be leaving us was not a
coincidence. I truly think that you were a gift from him. That news was his way
of saying, “it’s okay Mommy, you can do this…you can love her, she won’t be
leaving you.”


And that is the toughest part…the fear of losing you too. I
loved and continue to love your brother with every inch of my being. He was my every thing, a dream
come true. And not to blow this for you- but a better love than anything else you will ever experience in life. To have him stolen from me was the worse
thing I will ever experience. I didn’t want to give me heart away to have it
destroyed again.  But then I had you. And
you stole my heart too. And I love you with every inch of my being. And I
struggled with that too.  I didn’t want
Teddy to think I loved him less or stopped grieving because you came into our
lives. Part of me thinks I didn’t want you so that I could grieve for Teddy for
the rest of my life. And other parts of me (the bigger part) thinks I didn’t want you to so that I could
join Teddy. But he didn’t want that- and you were part of his plan- his plan to
make Mommy live again.  So forgive me for
the shine of Teddy that you grew up in. So forgive me for my bad days. So
forgive me for talking out loud to your brother like a crazy person. So forgive
me for making a cemetery part of every holiday tradition. So forgive me for
thinking things could always be worse and giving you way too much perspective
at a young age. So forgive me for never thinking anyone is sick or hurting
unless they are terminal. So forgive me for giving you a boys name that no one
ever gets right. Just tell them “Joyce, but with an “R”.”


Royce, I hope your understand, I have a lifetime to fit in
all of my love for you, I had only one year to squeeze in that same amount of
love for your brother. I gave you the name of a superhero, and a superhero
gave you his strength.


Teddy and Royce Fish, I love you both to the moon and
back.  Royce, help me ensure no one ever
forgets your brother…

Love, Mommy (or that nagging Bitch Mary if you're 13+ when you read this)