Does it tempt fate to say that things are good? Is it safe, and okay to say that things are going well, and that you’re happy with life these days?
Sometimes, I wonder. The last time I felt this peace, this contentment, this fulfillment, my sweet Alex was taken away just days later. I finally feel like we’ve reached levels of happiness to where we were before Alex died. Not every minute of every single day, but glimpses of that same happiness. It buoys my spirits to know that type of joy is still out there in life, for me and for my family. It warms my heart to know that the tragedy of losing Alex won’t define us forever.
I can talk about Alex and still miss him, but not have it be the one defining principle in my life. For awhile, the pain of losing Alex was the one thing I knew to be true. It’s bigger now. I know the pain of loss, the joy of life on earth and quiet peace of understanding that that there is life for us in between the two.
At bedtime, I tuck Benjamin in at night and tell him a made-up story about himself. Sometimes, it’s a nice story about how he was a good listener, or a good helper. These days, mostly tales about how he was a rotten listener, a lousy helper, or an otherwise naughty kid. My once perfect child is now a hooligan. It’s okay though. I can lay in bed with him, telling him stories, saying our prayers and I feel completely present in the moment with him. I feel like I am taking time out to spend time with him, and that I understand how quickly those special moments will pass by.
I didn’t have that before Alex died. I didn’t have those small moments of bliss when I would soak in every second of the special moments with my boys. Life was more harried. More rushed. I get it now.
I can take my time with Benjamin and enjoy his laughter and antics. His sassy comments and failure to follow instructions. Ben wonders why it takes so long to put Benjamin to bed. Sometimes it’s because he’s not listening. Other times it’s because I thought it was important to not rush.