I can feel the memories coming before they are even in my mind. My heart hurts. My throat gets tight. My eyes begin to well. I know it’s going to hurt like hell, but I embrace it, because it’s embracing you. It’s an embrace that I don’t want to let go of. With each month that passes, there is new pain, different pain. Things that were not triggers before, they rip the wound wide open now.
Luke talks about you more and more. About how things are “mine and Toby’s.” We love that he talks about you, but it is a continual dagger to the heart that you are not here.
We miss you, Toby. We say it everyday, but I don’t think we can say it enough. There are pictures of you everywhere in the house. Some of the ends have started to curl and it makes me so angry. It’s the reality of how long you have been gone. I stood at your crib the other day and when I picked my hand up I saw part of my handprint. I didn’t have even a second to let the pain come, but tears flowed. It is so painful to watch the world continue to move with you not in it. I hate how the numbers continue to increase – days, weeks, months, seasons, holidays. They push us back, but some days, I can feel us pushing harder. Challenging the pain. Trying to push the door open to let the memories back in, bringing only joy with them. We hope.
I went to a new gym the other evening. Walking in I was nervous. It’s new introductions, new people. New me. At the end of the class the instructor was acknowledging everyone’s great job and she said, “Give a hand to Katie! It’s her first class with us. She chases two babies around all day and she did awesome!”
Wow, talk about reality. I was standing facing the mirror when she said that and I just watched my face. I didn’t even feel like I was making an expression, but my eyes shocked me. Looking at my reflection made me want to cry. My first thought was, “Yes, I chase my two boys. One around the house and one in my mind. Every day.”
I’ve lost my identity over the past 10 months. Really, I lost myself August 24 when you were taken from our arms. But it’s only recently that it is visible to me. I don’t like the new me but I am very aware of the reality that I will never be the person I was before August 24. When you were in our arms. When I sang you to sleep and you woke up in the wee hours with the biggest smile on your face just to see me or dad. God, I want those moments back, Toby. I want you back. I can see your face at 2am and I hope that’s what it looks like when we see you again in Heaven. Excited, loving, happy.
You continue to be in every moment of our days. The song on the radio. The way the sun shines through the clouds in the evening. The verse in my evening prayers. The numbers on the clock. The voice in my heart.
People may think I sound crazy when I say this. And maybe I want to subconsciously hear these things, but there are moments during the day, when my mind is just blank and I’m staring at something or thinking about a decision we have to make and that’s when I feel it. Deep inside, there’s a subtle thought that enters my mind “I’m right here, mommy.” I swear it’s you, Toby. Guiding me. Assuring me. Holding me. Letting me know you are close.
I have seen many things the past week that refer to angels among us. Pray to them. Listen to them. They are closer than you think. They are talking about your path while you are resting.
I can only imagine the beauty of your face, now that you are in Gods presence. You were such a beautiful baby and always calm and happy. The people who are fortunate enough to have you as their angel, Toby, have been granted more love and joy than they will ever know. Daddy, Luke and I, we know that love, we know that joy. We cling to it every single day when we talk to you and pray for your presence.
Thank you for working with God to clear the path for mom and dad. We know you have a hand in what is given to us and what is diverted, each hour, each minute. We hope that you are proud of what we are doing in your memory. We continue to talk with people, discuss our hopes, tell your story and above all, say your name, Toby. We continue to make sure you are somehow a part of everything that we do and we hope that when you see us, you can feel the love for you, my sweet boy.
We love you, Toby. ❤️