A year ago, that date meant nothing to me. Just another March day. Now... that date has been seared in my mind and heart forever.
I have been dreading March all together. Everything seems heavier. That date feels like it's been looming, sometimes taking the brightness right out of the sun and the green right out of those shoots coming out of the ground.
I can't hide from March 26th. It is almost here and it means that I have lived and breathed for almost a year while my son has not. And nothing about that seems right or good or fair.
My mind can't stop going back to that unfathomable day and the days to follow.
His eyes that would not see.
His chest that would not rise and fall.
His toes that would not be tickled.
His hands that would not grasp mine.
His lips that would not smile.
His voice that would not coo, cry, or laugh.
I had such a hard time being close to his body. My spirit reached for his spirit, but it was gone. That connection was broken and all that was left was a shell of a being that used to be my son.
I think, too, of the weeks and months following his death. Trying to find meaning... trying to find hope and comfort and peace again. My entire family came in August for a retreat/reunion. We went to go see Mary Poppins at the Tuacahn. I was prepared for a night away - for familiar songs and a familiar storyline. I hadn't seen the Broadway version until that night and, for me, it was rather life-changing.
I don't know when it happened...somewhere into the second act, I began to realize that the story of Mary Poppins held similarities to the story of my son's life. I know that may sound strange and even cheesy, but it's true. Here’s the line that struck me & I could not stop the tears – from George Banks - "You know what I think? It’s that Mary Poppins woman. From the moment she stepped foot in this house, things began to happen to me. My world was calm, well ordered, exemplary. Then comes this ‘person’, with chaos in her wake. And now my life’s ambitions go, with one fell blow. It’s quite a bitter pill to take."
And, there it was. I felt the same way as George Banks when Link came – he turned my life upside-down. Not that my life was necessarily "calm, well ordered, exemplary," but whatever it was, it definitely changed. Everything was different. All chaos. No order. Living in the hospital. He put us through things that we never ever expected, similar to Mary Poppins. Crazy things. Miracles. He changed our family forever. Just like she changed the Banks’ family. Just as she helped them SEE THEMSELVES – see what was really important – help them realize their dreams, so our son did for us. And when her mission was complete – just as his – she didn’t say goodbye but left abruptly. She was sad to go, but she had done what she came to do.
The ending song - Anything Can Happen - gives me hope for the future with the message (once again) that I can find myself again. That if I let it, Link's life can change me in ways that I never imagined. Here are some of my favorite parts:
Changes can be made
You can move a mountain if you use a larger spade
Anything can happen, it's a marvel
You can be a butterfly
Or just stay larval
Stretch your mind beyond fantastic
dreams are made or strong elastic
Take some sound advice and don't forget it
Anything Can Happen if you let it
Broaden Your Horizon
Open different doors
You may find a you there that you never knew was yours
If you reach for the stars all you get are the stars
but we've found a whole new spin
if you reach for the heavens you get the stars thrown in
Anything can happen if you let it
life out there waiting so go and get it
grab it by the collar seize it by the scruff
once you've started living life you just can't get enough
Anything can happen it's official
you can choose the super or the superficial
sally forth the way we're steering
obstacles start disappearing
go and chase your dreams
you won't regret it
Anything can happen
Anything can happen
If you let it
And the last few lines of the play sent the tears rolling again...
Look! wasn't that a shooting star?
You can borrow my telescope.
I was right. Wish on it, Children!
Winifred - my dearest love.
We won't forget you, Mary Poppins.
We'll never forget...
I'll never forget. Never forget Link's life. His death. His mission. A year later and I am still trying to learn all the lessons Heavenly Father has for me through Link – I know our whole family is. I pray that I won’t shove them away, but I will embrace the changes we need to make to focus on what’s important and REAL in our lives. I was so thankful to have been able to go to that play. It was more than entertaining (though it was that, too – fireworks, amazing dance numbers, great singing, etc), it was truly inspirational for me.
I love you, my son. I miss you every second of every day. I try not to drown in my sadness. Some days are harder than others, but I know you are close & watch over us. I know you know how much I love you. I tell you in my letters to you. I tell you in my prayers. I tell you in my dreams. Thank you for being with us for those 139 days. I cherish the memory of every single one of them.