My hand continued to shake from squeezing the last bit of frosting from the plastic sleeve to finish Shiloh’s Cars themed birthday cake’s border. Family whirred around the home with crimson colored Cars 3 themed decorations and the last touches to piping dishes. I didn’t give myself time to think too deeply – guests rolled and the little ones pranced in polyester ball pits, and Shiloh gripped the bar of his toddler trampoline, his gift from Mommy and Daddy, and bounced toward the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. The birthday song was sung, candles blown, and presents opened with remnants of wrappers hidden in corners.
There were few moments when a friend beamed as they admired the length of my curly hair. A tita or two pressed her cheek against mine and remarked how healthy I looked. These were the only moments when the hidden second anniversary peeked through Shiloh’s second birthday.
Today is October 18th .
Exactly two years from when Shiloh was born and during the same surgery which I was diagnosed with stage IV clear cell ovarian cancer. At this time, they would’ve just delivered the news of my diagnosis in the NICU to my husband and parents – Shiloh was already delivered and hooked up with a feeding tube and oxygen.
This morning I woke up in our bed at home with my husband fast asleep and little Shiloh curled up under the covers next to me. As I moved my body away to hop in the shower for work, his fingers clawed for a pillow to replace my warmth.
Neither of us are hooked up. Neither of us are in danger. Both of us are a miracle.
So every year when I make Shiloh’s birthday cake, his number in icing will also be my number. Let’s live and breath and thrive together.