Megan’s younger brother will be having a little boy sometime around late July, right around her birthday. He’s getting married in October, just after my birthday. Shelby is ten now, getting her straight A’s and growing like a weed. This past sunday, Sarah, Shelby and I attended a baby shower for two friends that were originally close to Megan (they both have Cystic Fibrosis), but who were there for Shelby and I through her rejection. They and Sarah have also begun forming a strong friendship, as they have welcomed her into our lives, and there’s an underlying feeling that they have known each other forever.
Recently, there has been an ongoing parade of happy news and big milestones from persons that were close to Megan. Persons that are close to me. I cannot imagine Megan being anything other than ecstatic…
…and it sucks in a way.
More than anything, she loved being a mom. She never got to be an aunt, which she would have equally enjoyed. There are now two children in her close family under age three, with another on the way, and a fourth inbound in a few weeks from our friends. Shelby, her peanut, is the “elder stateswoman” of her generation now. She’ll soon be tapped for babysitting and random diaper changes (as much as she wants to resist diaper changes, it’s now part of her role). She’s seen, heard, and lived experiences herself over her past decade, and she’ll be sharing stories with these new children of her mother, their aunt, just as Megan shared stories with her of her uncle Jason.
Our friends’ baby was more than inspired by Megan. For a CF patient to have a child is rare. It’s even more so when both parents have CF. Now, to be truthful, this baby will be via a surrogate, but it will be their child nonetheless. The husband has received a transplant, years ago. The wife has not, but is currently in a fairly healthy state. They were at Megan’s side just as I was through all of her transplant and recovery and subsequent rejection. They know that there is a chance that one, or even both of them may not be in this child’s life down the road.
Regardless of that chance, they are wonderful people, and will be wonderful parents. They have always treated Shelby as if she was their own, because, in a sense, she is. Shelby being born was an inspiration to so many people that at said baby shower, there were women approaching her, whom she had never met, asking her if she was “THE Shelby”. She visited the hospital so much that many of the patients would ask for her to visit them when Megan was admitted. Shelby was proof that it could be done, and that there was hope for the sick to live on in something they created.
She’s not yet old enough to understand her significance, but Megan surely did. Shelby IS a “little Megan” in so many ways, and those that loved Megan in turn love Shelby as a representation of both.
I cannot begin to contemplate how proud Megan would be of all that has changed since her death, and all that will be changing. I don’t know exactly how she would feel about her friends, both sharing her disease, having a child of their own, but I truly believe she would be encouraging, and love that child just as they do with Shelby. Her brother would likely have to hand over his son more than he would like to Megan (I swear, she’d be circling him like a vulture for just the right time to swoop in and hold the baby). He wouldn’t even get the chance to plan his own wedding, nor would he need to…Megan probably already had it planned before she died.
I wish she could have seen all of this through her own eyes. I see glimpses of her happiness whenever Shelby reacts to news, but Megan’s excitement would have been so much fun.