As I sit here in my bed, tears dripping onto my chest, I am forcing myself to type these numbers - one year, nine months, ten days. It makes me sick that it has been that long since I last held you, touched you, breathed you in.
So much has happened - yet so much has remained the same. I still manage to get up and function every day. I still parent Brian - and now, Hope - with the same enthusiasm as I did when you were alive. I still miss you desperately every single day. Yet in less than two years our family is so different! Hope has added a new energy and a different dynamic - something I never expected to happen to our family! And Brian is maturing - gaining confidence, losing teeth, making friends.
What would you be like now? I wonder that at least once a day. Brian and Hope play "chase" around the house. Can you imagine that? She's one - and he's six! But she runs away from him and glances back over her shoulder and they laugh and laugh. Would you be running with them? I'm sure of it. As I watch the two of them I can almost see you whizzing by. Would you be talking now? I'm sure of it. I bet you'd have opinions and requests. And I'm positive you'd join the daily fights that Brian and I have over who loves who more - and who loved who first.
Tonight I was snuggled up in a chair with Brian and his iPad and we pulled up YouTube. For a little while we got lost in videos - Hope eating spaghetti for the first time, Brian finding out he we going to be a big brother, you and Brian riding the fire trucks in Ocean City... it was fun to walk down memory lane.
Then he clicked on a video that turned me inside out. Especially when I saw that it was posted "two years ago." That was harsh.
Soon it was bedtime and, no surprise, Hope needed a lot of extra snuggles before she settled in for the night. She has inherited her older brothers' gift of somehow picking up on just what her Mommy needs. As I held her in the chair where I once held you, I was grateful for the time to just sit... and stroke her hair... sing to her... feel needed... and cry. As she cried, I cried too. Her tears were likely born from frustration and not knowing how to handle her hectic insides so she could feel better. Ironically, my tears were for the same reasons - but the depth of our pain is vastly different. I hope she and her brother never have to feel the kind of pain that comes with losing a child. There's nothing like it.
I miss you. You know what it feels like to miss you? It feels like shit. I resent that I have to miss you, quite frankly. I hate that you had to go.
I've since watched that video of the two of us several times as I sit here in bed. Something was so different with you - something was clicking - and from that day you continued to wow us. But then - bam. You were gone. I'll never, ever understand it - as long as I live.
So I will continue to wake up each day. Parent with enthusiasm and pure, unfiltered love. I will continue to celebrate Brian and Hope's milestones while counting the days since your final breath. I will keep on watching old videos - and will make sure we keep talking about who you were and how you lived and what you meant to us and how you changed everything.
You really changed everything.
You really changed me.