I feel it in my body. My whole being knows. It starts the month of June and the clock ticks as we slowly creep to June 9th.
June 9th will be 5 years since Alex died. You can call it an Angel-versary, or something else, but it is the 5 year mark of the worst day of my life.
And it’s coming up quickly.
On most days at home, I am up to my neck in bathtime, books, packing lunches and finding missing shoes. There isn’t time to sit and think about the little duckling who is missing. As I pack up all the kids for a swim and buckle everyone in the car, I’m not thinking about the 4th booster seat that wouldn’t fit in the backseat.
This time of year though, the absence is noted. Palpable and fervent, it’s like an alarm ringing in my head. “Alex is gone!”
There is an urgency building inside of me. I don’t know where it comes from or what to do with it. There are only a few trusted souls that get to see it. I don’t hide it, but I think back to the time when Alex first left. When the loss was fresh and searing hot. The people who were here when I was confused and mute. In shock and in denial.
Everything builds. An ebb and flow throughout the day. Moments of longing, moments of hurt. Wistful thoughts about such a sweet little boy. Holding him in my arms. All the windows in the house open and a sweet June breeze blowing through the house.
Morning gurgles as the shine shone bright into your room. Noisy suckling as you ate too much and I looked on in amazement at how perfect you were. A very young Benjamin (just 2.5) talking to you like a trusted companion already. Benjamin stroking your face after you sneezed. “God Bless you Baby Alex.”
God did bless our Baby Alex. He called him home and watches over him every single day. He has sent us two blessings… Molly and Emily.
Adding two doesn’t replace one. The girls have a place in my heart that is special and their own. Alex has a place in my soul that may never quite heal.
You would think I would be used to this time of year. I have had 5 practice rounds, so I should know what to expect. Every year though, I am surprised. Surprised at all the events and activity that has happened since you left us. Silently sad that no amount of time really heals the pain or fixes the hurt.
We meet new people every day. People that don’t know about Alex and don’t know about our story. How do you explain it? An event that is so real to you, and defines who you are today… and it’s like a small footnote in your introduction to others.
It matters, but it isn’t current to everyone else.
The kids, our lives, they move on. My brain processes a little bit more slowly this time of year. There are the details of work and home, and there is a space dedicated to the void that is Alex.
He spends his days in Heaven, and his night in our hearts here on Earth.