McKinley & Ireland are both at school.
Jason is at work.
I am home.
People say "what will you do with that extra time?"
I just give them a wounded smile, shrug my shoulders, and push back the tears.
I know many mothers long for this day. Can't wait till all their kids are in school and they can have that freedom. I also look forward to that day. But not yet. Not yet. Because... this is not "extra time." This is time that was supposed to have meaning and purpose. I'm not supposed to be alone.
There is supposed to be an adorably handsome baby boy with me right now. Blue eyes. Chubby cheeks.
I am supposed to be able to hold him in the mornings. Feed him new food. Play pat-a-cake and eensy-weensy spider. I'm supposed to be able to sing to him. Dance with him. I'm supposed to feign frustration as he pulls himself up on furniture, knocks things over, gets into the cupboards, makes messes. I am supposed to hear his sweet babble echo through the walls of my home. I am supposed to comfort him when he falls or when his poor gums ache from the pain of a new tooth coming through. Together, we are supposed to go grocery shopping. Together, we are supposed to clean and do chores and run errands. Together we are supposed to laugh and smile and play. TOGETHER.
Me being here. Alone. So quiet. It is not supposed to be this way. And it hurts.
I've been reading A Grace Disguised, by Jerry Sittser and he states it this way:
"Loss creates a barren present, as if one were sailing on a vast sea of nothingness. Those who suffer loss live suspended between a past for which they long and a future for which they hope. They want to return to the harbor of the familiar past and recover what was lost... Or they want to sail on a discover a meaningful future... Instead, they find themselves living in a barren present that is empty of meaning. Memories of the past only remind them of what they have lost; hope for the future only taunts them with an unknown too remote even to imagine."
Yes - that is how I feel today. Wishing for that harbor in the past - where we were a complete family and I didn't hurt so much. Instead, I feel lost and I don't have the means to move on.
I know I will somehow pull myself together. I know I will use this time for something good.
Maybe I'll start swimming again.
Maybe I'll do family history work.
Maybe I'll volunteer in the girls' classrooms.
Maybe I'll organize.
But not today. Today it hurts too much.
Yesterday hurt too much, too. Yesterday, August 26th, was Link's 5 month angelversary. It's been five months since he was here on this earth. FIVE months. It still amazes me that I have gone this long - breathing in and out - when he does not. He has truly been gone longer than he was here & that knowledge seeps into my heart and makes it heavier than I think I can bear. Every fiber of my being wants him here. And while I really just want him here physically, I know that he has been here in spirit and given me signs of his love. Here are FIVE signs of his love that happened yesterday:
1. See these perfect, tiny footprints? They are my son's. I didn't have them until yesterday. I don't know why- maybe with all the craziness of getting to the St. George NICU they never gave me a copy, but it broke my heart when I could not find his little footprints anywhere. I had Jason stop by the medical records office yesterday & he brought them home. I can't tell you how precious these are to me. I just held them to me and sobbed. We have moldings of his tiny hands, but we didn't have anything from his tiny feet. I am SO thankful to have these.
2. Speaking of footprints... my sweet sister sends me a new bead on the 26th of every month for the beautiful bracelet she gave me. I now have 5 beads on my bracelet. This one was so perfect for yesterday. I have definitely felt the Lord's strength carrying me through these difficult days.
So... after all these manifestations of love... maybe I'm not so alone after all?