Hampton gratitude

Written By: Jessica  Frank

My child is part of the earth now. His soul is forever united with mine. He doesn’t know his brother and sister, lovingly adopted from Korea. He isn’t here physically, but metaphorically he has shared in our journeys, our adventures, our lives. I carried him inside me for 9 months, delivered him through 12 hours of backbreaking labor, and lost him. He was born without a cry. I made up for his silence with so many rivers of tears. Endless rivers flooding my heart. For awhile I couldn’t feel, simply ached for my arms to be filled, and they just couldn’t be. I would walk along the beaches of the hamptons and find solace in the waves, the sand and even the gulls flying overhead. Serenity and hope were born there. While pregnant, I would take the drive down Dune road, enjoying the cool breeze on my face, sipping my Haagen Das shake and my husband’s company. We would stop, dig our toes in the sand and plan for our future of a family of three. Picnic spread before us, he would indulge my cravings for guacamole and oranges, peanut butter and celery and pretzels. We would laugh, and he held me close until the sun went down feeling the kicking of our son. We cherished our Hampton memories. I couldn’t go back for awhile. The Hampton Classic had been a favorite memory that summer. I wore my first maternity dress, finally showing at 24 weeks, and excited to show the world. We gathered annually with friends, enjoying the events, glued to the jumpers, and admiring the horses. I felt beautiful, and I never felt beautiful. I felt bloated and hormonal and tired and stressed. But I felt like the world had blessed me with radiance at that moment, and I felt stunning. I couldn’t go back after Derek died for a long while. I didn’t want to with my post pregnant body, sad eyes and aching heart. I didn’t want to watch the crowds cheer and remember. I didn’t want to see the beach or feel the sand. I wanted to ache, wrap myself in a blanket and cry because I lost again, this time a daughter. She became one with the earth as well, earlier than her brother. Oh how I ached. I sat in the house that summer, seeking solace in books, immune to the Hampton joy. I gazed outside my window one day and realized that there was a life to live, a world to explore and a child out there to love. Korea was beckoning us to love and adopt two of its children. Connor came home a year after Derek died brightening our world and giving me a reason to sing again. Molly joined him a few years later. Oh how she has kept me on my toes! With her shiny black hair glistening in the sun, she loves to jump the white foamy waves. Covered in sand, she rolls on the beach, free spirited and fun. Connor has the mind of a scientist, analyzing the sea, and wondering why fish swim in schools, or why jellyfish arrive in August. Oh how they have made life fun again! The joy is indescribable and the reality of life being precious is not wasted on me. My gratitude to their birthmothers is indescribable. Their choice is my joy, my hope, my dreams that came true. We often drive down Dune Road, picnic loaded in the car. My pregnancy craving meal replaced with juice boxes, pretzel sticks and fruit. My time with my husband alone replaced with a few feet between us while the kids pop in for a sandy cuddle. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The Hampton Classic now has new meaning. I feel beautiful when I am there watching my children enjoy the horses and the family feel that I so cherish. New memories have replaced the painful ones of those two summers of loss. I will always remember my children who I lost, but there are two many summer memories to cherish with the ones who I have gained. The hamptons have helped me grow and become the person I am. This summer I want to shout to the waves and give my thanks.