My grandparents, whom I call Oma and Opa, immigrated from Holland to Canada and had seven children.
Their son, my Uncle Henry, died when he was 21. He got hit by a train.
Their grandson, my cousin, Michael, died when he was 5 days old. Trisomy 13.
Their grandson, my cousin, Jonathan, died when he was 11. Tragic accident.
Their son, my Uncle Martin and godfather, died when he was 52. Heart attack. His youngest of 4 daughters turned 16 the day of the calling hours.
Their great-grandson, my cousin's son, Caleb, was stillborn at 40 weeks. 19 months ago.
And now, their great-granddaughter, my daughter, my Lydie joins them.
My Oma, who is still living, had 7 children and 22 grandchildren. She lost two of her sons, two of her grandchildren, and now two of her great-grandchildren.
After Lydie's death, I said to my aunt, Michael's mom, "The Lammers family is cursed!"
She responded, "I know. We've had so many tragedies. It almost makes you think you're safe, doesn't it? Like nothing more could possibly happen to us?"
Yes, it did. It did make me feel safe.
I knew tragedies happen. I even knew they happened to our family.
I knew stillbirth happened. It happened 19 months ago to my cousin's child.
I just didn't think, in a family with a handful of great-grandchildren, that it would happen again.
I didn't think it would happen to me.
I didn't think it would happen to my daughter.
My Opa is no longer living, but I haven't mentioned him. He died when he was in his 80's. He had a good life. A hard life, in many ways, but a good life. What happened to him was not a tragedy.
Not compared to losing 3 babies. An 11-year-old. A 21-year-old. A 52-year-old.
At every family Christmas, we light candles for the family members who have died. Family Christmas is today. It was planned for today, because my mom was supposed to be busy the rest of December. Busy because Lydia would be here. It's the first family Christmas I have missed in a long time, because I was supposed to be 38 weeks pregnant. And now I'm that I'm not 38 weeks pregnant, I'm too depressed to go anywhere or see anyone. So my mom just sent me a photo:
Lydie's candle. At family Christmas. I'm so glad they are remembering her. But it breaks my heart too. I can't believe my daughter needs her own candle. This is so fucked up.