Sweet boy. I can define my life in so many “befores” and “afters”. There was a time when I had an identity that didn’t include your father, but that will never be the same. There was a time before I was a mother, but that will never be the same. There was a time before I lost you, but that will never be the same.
I met with a new therapist this past week. She was lovely, but par for the course when you meet with a new therapist is unpacking the things that make you. So, I quickly but carefully pulled out the pieces of your story and assembled them. You had a heartbeat when we checked in. Then suddenly you didn’t. The question of delivering via C-section…immediately, try to save you, wasn’t even up for debate. Your dad and I demanded it. It’s in our medical records, actually. Patient insisted on emergency delivery.
I didn’t mention the flash of fear looking into the white lights of the OR…what if I didn’t wake up or the last thing I said before they started surgery while I inhaled anesthesia as hard as I could to make it start sooner: Wait, I’m not under yet. And then I was.
Then I woke up. And Sean was there, and I asked what happened and he told me your name. I skipped ahead to the part where I swam in and out of druggy sleep, waking up and realizing it was real. You really weren’t there anymore. I clicked the button for more Dilauded and soon drifted back into deep but restless sleep.
I remembered the abyss. As vividly as if it were real, that moment when I looked the ledge into an emotional black hole and knew I could easily go in to that warm, velvety, inviting negative space. Knowing that if I went in, I’d never come back. So, I backed away from the ledge, and moved back to life.
Your dad did, too, in his own way. A man broken. His handsome face squeezed with pain as he held you, his beautiful, perfect four-pound thirty-three-week-old son, and said, “That little boy might save my life.” There was no question of doubt that you were in heaven, among the angels and back in the embrace of God. Chosen for reasons unknown to be there and not here.
But part of you did stay. You stayed in both of us for your father started a faith journey because of you that led him to choose God and his faith and to become the best friend, the best father, the best husband, the best Christian. No, he wasn’t perfect, but he was good and genuine. Because of you, because of God, he became an amazing man in spite of everything that had previously transpired against him in this life, things that would’ve turned a weaker man into a hedonistic sinner.
While I believe that perhaps saving your father’s life was indeed a part of God’s greater plan, I also know that my decision to choose life when I backed away from the abyss was also part of your beautiful purpose and of a greater plan. That I feel sure of. The only other thing I feel certain of is that there is still much to be done. You’re mine forever, and you live in me forever. You will influence me forever, just like your sisters, but also uniquely.
Thank you for being you. I miss you so much, but I love that you are mine and what you have done for your father and me. Tell daddy I love him. I love you, my sweet boy. One day.