It has been one year since I saw his still heart on the ultrasound monitor.
It has been one year since I thought I'd never breathe again.
It has been one year since I lost my joy.
And yet I can breathe.
And I can feel joy.
And I miss my little lamb just as intensely as I always did...but I have accepted life without him.
We had a picnic at his grave. Nan made him a card and we attached it to a blue balloon...and Nan held it and wished a birthday wish for him and let it go. We watched it drift away---the sky was so blue and clear.
And it was a beautiful day.
And it was a gut-wrenching day. I kept picturing him tottering around (maybe, just maybe taking his first steps by now)...or holding up his arms to me (waiting to be picked up) and saying "Mama." While Nan played on the slip and slide all afternoon, I realized that he would be old enough to ride it with her...maybe sitting between her legs. And I wished and hoped and prayed that God would send me a gift...a sensation of what he would've really been like: his smell, the feel of his little hand in mine, the sound of his voice, his cry, the color and shape of his open eyes, the feel of his head on my shoulder and of his arms around my neck. But those are things I will have to wait for...yet another reason to smile and beam when I think of eternal life: meeting my son. I believe it...and theologians and biblical scholars have debated for centuries whether or not we will know our loved ones in heaven. But I don't feel the need to debate it or rationalize it...I simply believe it--- with a firm conviction no one can take from me.
I just pray he can feel my love for him, even now. It still gushes from my heart---pours forth like a wellspring that refuses to dry up, even in his absence. Lord, please let him feel it....
I spent the entire day crying for my son...but smiling for my daughters. I was totally caught up in an emotional tug of war...grief and longing for Will, joy and amusement for Nan, gratitude and delight for the wiggly baby girl in my belly. It felt like the actual embodiment of the word bittersweet.
As I put Nan to bed and settled down for the evening, I happened to note (for now it has become such a fixture in our home that I tend to forget about it) the inscription on the back side of our front door (a gift from Shannon last Mother's Day): BLESSED. And that pretty much says it all. In the midst of mind-numbing, soul-crushing loss, I chose that word to be carved on my front door (Shan told me to pick any word I wanted). And a year later, I know (for last year I had to simply trust) how true that word is.
And I adore every single one of you. Thank you for your tenderness this past year. Thank you for your prayers. Ah yes: BLESSED...blessed, indeed.