I'm new to the blogger world, very new by a lot of standards. I'm even newer to the blogger's social network. I joined a site called Studio 30+ and started reading a lot of what other people were writing. Some made me laugh, some I could totally relate to, but one particular totally hit me square in the heart. I found Transplanted Thoughts.
I don't know her. I mean, I don't know her personally, but I feel like I know her. I had maybe only read about 4 entries, so I guess I wasn't really prepared for her entry on January 24th. She lost her son David. And this wasn't the first time she had lost a son.
As a parent of two boys, I can't even imagine losing a child. I can't even allow myself to think of anything happening to my children. Since I hadn't read more than those few entries, I actually caught my breath for a moment. My throat constricted and the tears started running down my face. I wasn't prepared. I re-read the entry, and cried some more. I started reading previous posts, marveling at this woman's amazing dedication and strength. Knowing how it was going to end made my heart break even more and my admiration for her was overwhelming.
My oldest son, Big K, had already been tucked in and was sound asleep. My youngest was still fighting it, and I had been short with him earlier when he refused to stay in bed. I heard the shuffling of little padded pajama feet, and looked up to see him standing beside me. His brow was crunched up in concern, he tilted his head to the side, "Mommy, why you crying?" I couldn't speak. I knew if I allowed myself to say words out loud, I would completely break down. I only managed to shake my head. He reached over with his little chubby hand and wiped the tears off of my cheeks. I realized how trivial it had been for me to be upset with him earlier.
"Ready for bed Little Man?" I tried to manage a smile. He nodded, and grabbed my hand. He wanted to sleep in mom and dad's bed. After tonight, I was half-tempted. "No honey, your bed tonight."
"But my scared."
"I'll sit with you."
A shaky, "Okay."
I held up the blankets as he slid in and situated myself on the edge of the bed. I laid one hand on his back and the other on my lap. He reached for my hand intertwined his fingers with mine. I stared at his little face, as he attempted to keep his eyes open. I tried to memorize every little feature; his long lashes, his tiny nose, heart shaped lips, the feel of his soft skin and rosy cheeks. I thought again of what I had read tonight and couldn't help thinking, "What would I do if that were my child? How could I ever continue to live?" I didn't think I would be able to. Colors, music and laughter would no longer be a part of my world. I would want to go to bed, pull the covers over my head and never have to get back up. Again, I asked myself, "How could she go on?" Yes, I know you must continue for the sake of the rest of your family and the needs of your other children, but wouldn't there be a void that would threaten to suck the very life out of you every day? Every reminder?
I looked down again at Little Man, who was gazing up at me. He has this uncanny ability to sense when something is going on with me know matter how I try to hide it.
I unlaced my hand from his and lay my head next to his on the pillow. He snaked his tiny little arm up around my head so that my chin was resting in the crook of his elbow, and patted the top of my head. He touched his forehead to mine, looked deep into my eyes and said, "My wuv you mom. For ebber. You're da best." And just like that he fell asleep with a little grin on his face.
The tears started again. As his breathing became deep, the way it does when they are fast asleep, I closed my eyes and said a little prayer:
"Please Lord, if you are listening, please help me to appreciate when my children are good and happy and to be more understanding when they're not. Help me to remember that childhood is short and I should cherish every moment, that a clean house and work deadlines are not as important as the quality time I get with my family. Grant me the knowledge to help them grow to be the best people they can be. Remind me to lead by example. Please, please, please, keep my children safe from life threatening diseases and other harmful things, but if it isn't Your divine will to do so, give me the strength and the courage to be able to deal with whatever may come my way. I would also ask that You embrace David when he enters your kingdom and comfort his family as only You know how."
I slipped quietly out of his bed, went to the next room and knelt by Big K's bed, whispered, "I love you to the moon and back," brushed his hair aside and kissed him on the forehead.
So if by chance you read this, Amy, your story has changed my life. I hope that maybe in your time of sorrow, it would bring you just the smallest bit of comfort to know that because of you and David, I am going to hug my kids a little tighter tonight and every night from now on.
Thank you for that.
If you'd like to remember what REALLY matters in life, read her story: