#78: 9 Years Tomorrow
Alexander Cameron Jonas was born on April 11, 2011. Tomorrow he would be nine years old.
Alex died when he was only 2 months old, so we have had years without him. We can almost adjust to our daily lives without him, yet when his birthday comes around… life gets so hard again.
Maybe it is life in quarantine. We are working and cooking and teaching and there is just no time left at the end of the day. Our kids need more, and there is nothing left to give.
I typically take Alex’s birthday off from work. I take a day to myself to remember my sweet boy, and think back to the fleeting memories I can remember. Time fades specifics, but I remember the weight of him in my arms. I remember the scent of his head, and I will never forget the sweet sounds he would make when he was sleeping.
There is no quiet solitude in a quarantine. There are no warm hugs from friends. There is a lot of emptiness in a time that is already hard.
Sometimes I try to do the math in my head, and it doesn’t work out. How can the loss of 1 child be so strong, when there are 3 healthy, happy children still here in my arms?
I think it might be the unanswered questions. What would this third grader be like? Would he love sports like his brother Benjamin? Would he play Barbies with his sisters? Would he add harmony to our family in this time of chaos? Would he be the kid who is the consummate peacemaker? Are we missing his voice of reason, and is that why our three kids are always a little unbalanced?
Even when our house and our lives seem too small to fit 2 jobs and 3 academic careers, I still long for the little bear that we lost. His absence seems more palpable on days like today.
Tomorrow, I will make a birthday cake. The kids have come to expect some sort of a birthday party for Alex, so we will remember him as best we can. His presence lives in our hearts long after he has left our arms.
Happy birthday sweet baby- we love you always.