4/11/2019Today Today is so hard. There is a constant battle between normal and sad and it takes over unexpectedly, no way to control it. School was canceled today due to snow. I have 3 kids running around the house. Happy, excited to have both parents home, typical chaos for our household. There are moments of unbelievable pain that wash over me. Unexpectedly and unprovoked. In the middle of a work call, in the middle of an email, in the middle of a normal, daily task.
I talk about Alex at least 4 times a day. We mention him at meal prayers, evening prayers, any prayers… I can say his name without welling up with sadness. And then on his birthday I have a tangible reminder of the missing bear from our den. He would have been 8 years old today. That’s a third grader.
He would be playing baseball, watching YouTube, I don’t even know. I assume that he would have been a carbon copy of his brother, but that is probably selling Alex a little short. He would be his own person. He would have his own personality, his own preferences, his own hopes and dreams. He wasn’t with us long enough to learn any of this, so I can only speculate.
There is beauty that we don’t know. Alex remains this perfect baby boy who never caused problems. He didn’t spill chocolate milk in the backseat, and he never left his bike outside in the rain overnight. He never forgot to do his homework, and he never complained about practicing piano.
So many “nevers” to think about. He never learned his first word, never learned to walk, never gave us a first toothy grin.
Alex left us unexpectedly on June 9, 2011. He was 2 months old and so very loved. He went down for a nap, stopped breathing and never woke up. CPR, my prayers and my tears did nothing to revive him. I was alone. I think about those sad, scary moments we spent together and I weep. Tears because he’s gone, tears because I couldn’t save him, tears because there are no real words to explain what we went through.
We have abundant blessings in our lives. We are surrounded by friends and family, now more than ever. And there is still a gap. A hole in our family and a void in my heart. Time nor tears can heal it. We learn to live with the pain. We accept what is missing and focus on what is present.
Everything comes back though. The pain. The tears. The fogginess in my brain that was so helpful in protecting my heart. A numbness that makes me want to crawl under the covers and just check out for the rest of the day.
The day goes on. We dispense meals and snacks. We trudge through meetings and work. Life moves on, just like our family. There’s no better way to explain things. Today is so hard.