It has been a rough couple days for me. And for Ed. It's slowly getting more and more real for us as life has the audacity to go on.
Ed has returned to work.
Laundry need to be done.
Brian needs to go to school.
I need to take a shower.
Oh, wait. I really do need to take a shower. Some parts of life just don't seem to take a priority at the moment.
Brian is not one of those parts of life.
Last night, on a hunch, I said to Brian - "I want you to know that Mommy and Daddy did NOT want Gavin to go to Heaven." He just stared at me - still as could be. I am never sure in his four year old mind what he's thinking. If he's wondering if we sent Gavin away. If he's worried that he'll be sent away. He continued to stare as we sat next to each other in Gavin's bed - Brian's new favorite place to be.
"Mommy and Daddy were very sad that Gavin had to die. We didn't want him to leave us."
He broke his silence with, "I have allergies."
I knew it. I suspected that he might associate Gavin's allergies with death. Right before we got to the emergency room, we were at the acupuncturist who helps us with both boys' allergies. She was actually the one who taught me the technique that eliminated (yes, eliminated) Brian's peanut allergy. That morning, in her office, I had shared with her that I was DETERMINED to eliminate their seasonal allergies - especially Gavin's who were pretty bad that morning. In Brian's mind, they both have allergies - and then Gavin went to the hospital - and he never came home.
"Yes, Brian. You DO have allergies. But you don't need to be afraid of your allergies. Gavin didn't die because of his allergies."
He continued to silently stare. This is very unlike him - to not be distracted or goofy. I could tell I was hitting on something important. I pressed on...
"You know the heart that beats in your chest - and mine? Your heart is one of the things in your body that keep you alive!" I explained.
"The doctors couldn't give him medicine to fix him so he died," he said.
"No, the doctor's couldn't give him medicine. His heart stopped beating in his chest - it just kind of broke."
He nodded his little head.
"That's why we are so sad. And that's why you sometimes see Mommy and Daddy crying. It's okay to cry - and if you are sad, you can talk to us."
"That's okay, Mommy. My angry birds make me happy," he assured me.
"Brian, I bet Gavin is so happy that you're sleeping and playing in his room. You know, you can talk to him anytime and he'll hear you!! You may not hear him - and you may not see him - but he'll hear you! Remember how I told you that Heaven's ALL around us - it's everywhere? Not just in the clouds?"
"That means that Gavin is always around us - he'll always be part of everything we do!"
With that he stood up in Gavin's bed and said, "Hi Gavin! I love you! I miss you!"
"Do you think he heard me, Mommy?" he asked with his little voice and his BIG, hopeful eyes.
"Yes. I definitely think he heard you. Actually - I KNOW it."
"You can go, Mommy. Goodnight."
A couple months ago, I was asked to write a guest post on the blog Momastery - the HUGELY popular and inspiring "home" of Glennon Doyle Melton. Glennon just had her first book published, "Carry On, Warrior - Thoughts On A Life Unarmed" where she writes openly and honestly about her life. She calls it "shameless truth telling." Glennon has been changing lives over at Momastery by sharing her truth - and allowing other women, in turn, to feel they don't need to be ashamed of their own truths. While she's on her book tour, she's having guest writers and I was so, very honored that she asked me to be one of them. I had just sent her my finished post on April 3rd.
My guest post will be up on her blog tomorrow. It comes with a warning to those of you who know me well - or who have known me online for years. Let's just say, if you thought you knew everything about me from my blog - you are in for a surprise.
Many people ask me how I can continue to find the positive when I'm constantly fielding hit after hit, year after year. Or they wonder how I'm functioning after so much heartbreak. This will hopefully shed light on that. But my greatest wish in opening myself up to the world - especially now - is to show everyone that there really is nothing you can't get through. Even the death of two of your children.
I am living proof.
(Like Momastery's facebook page - or check my Facebook page and I will update you when it's posted.)
One last thing... our little buddy, Miles, had a very successful liver transplant and is doing well. His Mom and I are in frequent contact and I'm starting to think we are long lost sisters. With her permission, I am sharing their CaringBridge page so that you can check in on Miles and express your support in her guestbook. I think all of us will always feel a special connection to Miles. And I know I speak for all of you when I say how relieved we all are that he got his liver. Now we pray that the next month goes well and the liver falls in love with it's new, adorable home.