December 9th, 2000
Exactly five years from the day I was supposed to be born my parents sat us all down to have a ‘family discussion’. Once we all arrived together in the living room Mom took a deep breath and said the words I had waited my entire life (well, all five years of it) to hear.
“We found out a couple weeks ago that we were expecting a baby!”
I was elated! I still remember the exact surge of emotions that swept over my little body. First I screamed and then started jumping up and down from excitement! Finally, the little brother I had always dreamed about! I even had his name picked out. He was going to be Michael Bruce after my Grandpa and Dad’s brother.
But it didn’t take me long to figure out that I was the only one rejoicing. And then it hit…
She said “we were” expecting a baby. What is that supposed to mean? I helplessly looked to my dad for an explanation and he said five words that will be etched in my memory until I die.
“It means he died, Victoria.”
And for the first time in my life, my heart broke. I burst into tears and couldn’t stop for hours! One of my sisters took me aside and told me that it was a really hard time for Mom and Dad so we had to be strong for them. We shouldn’t make them feel any worse than they already do.
So I stuffed it all inside and let it fester. For the next twelve years I only mentioned him one time, even though I would wake up crying because I missed him so badly. I would have dreams about him where I could never quite reach him or see his face! My heart would physically ache to see him for just one moment… but I kept it all hidden.
I was going to be strong for my parents, so at age five I started shutting off my emotions.