I am out of words. There is nothing left to describe what I’m feeling and thinking about Alex. It’s all been said before and the tape replays in my head day after day. It’s like I have this terrible cycle on repeat. I have sad moments, scattered with happy times and then brief stints where I am neutral. Neither sad, nor happy, just there. And it just keeps going.
I take two steps forward, and then two steps back. I’m always in motion, but not really getting anywhere. It’s disheartening, really.
You feel like things are on an up-swing for a little while. You are grateful and humble and strong in your faith. You think of your beautiful baby up in Heaven, and praise Him for taking your sweet child so early in life before he could know pain and sadness. You give thanks that your baby Alex got to Heaven so early in life.
Then you take your two steps back. You’re sad about all the things your family is missing without him. The stacks of diapers that will never be used. The freezer of breast milk that won’t be eaten. The matching outfits that will be only half worn. These dark times seem to un-do all the progress you’ve made toward healing.
You’re drowning in a sea of tears, barely keeping your head above water and grasping for breath. You’re trying to swim toward safe shores and you paddle until your arms tire from sheer exhaustion. You get your bearings and realize that you haven’t gone anywhere. You’ve been swimming in circles and don’t have anything to show for all your efforts.
It’s that way with Alex. I try to do so much to “get better,” to “move on” and to heal our family. In the end, there’s nothing you can do to force your way through all the emotions that are still left. If I run, walk or crawl, I’m not going to get there any faster. Where is “there?” A feeling of peace with what has happened. A place where I can miss Alex, but not go through this roller coaster of emotion every single day.
I want to just turn my head off. If I could stop the painful longing for Alex and the thoughts of missing him off, I feel like I could move on. The problem is that turning off the sad also turns off the happy. If I try to numb myself to everything going on around me, I miss out on all the joy Benjamin brings to our family. The way Benjamin has a slight stammer in his words, and the way he will repeat things he hears along the way. “You-you-you-you going to the store Mama? I-I-I-I not going to the store Mama? I going to ‘stay put’ here with Papa and you’ll be right back.”
“I miss you Mama. Papa made me dinner and I didn’t eat it. Papa said ‘forget this’ and threw it in the trash and took me to McDonald’s. I-I-I-I had ice cream, Mama.”
We weren’t a family until we had Benjamin. We felt complete when we had Alex. Now we’re in flux. No matter what you say, or what you do, he’s gone. I miss him.
Alex slept through the night so early in life. At only 10 days old, he was sleeping 8-9 hours a night. Isn’t that proof enough that he really was an angel on earth?
He had soft gray eyes that didn’t look dark brown like mommy’s or daddy’s. We thought his eyes would get darker as he got older, just like Benjamin’s did.
He had two cowlicks on the back of his head just like Benjamin. Early proof that he was destined to have rockin’ hair!
Alex loved to snuggle. He would nuzzle closely on your chest and let out a little sigh before falling asleep. He could sleep so easily I would joke in my head about how he was my crazy little narcoleptic.
He could nurse 24/7. I would have Ben give him a bottle around 6pm just so I could have a small break from his voracious appetite. He would chug a bottle like a frat boy shot-guns a beer. Then he would spit most of it up. It was awesome.
Alex was my perfect baby. There isn’t supposed to be perfection in parenthood, but I had two short months of sheer bliss. He was so special to me and so important to our family. We didn’t know how soon he was going to leave us.
I think of him in Heaven. I don’t know how old he is there. I don’t know if he walks, or has learned to crawl. All I know is that no journey I take here on earth will bring us back together.