It’s the 24th again. Another milestone. But, not one where we can tell the world your new favorite book or food. It’s another month of you being away from us.
It is also the month which starts the season that coincides with our time with you on Earth. Two years ago you were still safe in my belly. I was finishing my last days of work and my heart was full of excitement as I couldn’t wait to meet you.
Now, I cry looking at pictures, listening to the birds outside, watching the sun set, watching Luke play in the yard – there’s just emptiness, right where you should be.
I was traveling last weekend and drove by myself. On my way home I stopped to get lunch at McDonalds. It was busy so I ordered and sat down waiting for my food. I didn’t see it when I walked in, but as I sat at the table by myself, I was surrounded by children. Sitting with their families, playing in the play area, running with their siblings. I didn’t even have a moment to think about it, but tears were pouring down my cheeks. It was a moment where the pain of my son dying, of being robbed of every joyful moment as a parent was all right in front of me. I sat there crying as I tried to finish my meal. There was a little girl sitting a few tables a way. Her parents were getting her brother situated with his meal and when I noticed her she was just staring at me. She waved at me.
She couldn’t have been more than two as she was in a high chair. I tried to smile to wave back to her, but I couldn’t. I cried even harder. I waved and she smiled at me and then her attention was back with her family at the table.
I got home to an empty house. Dan was at his parents with Luke and took Murray & Theo with him. There are moms that beg for empty houses – alone time, me time. Empty houses only bring me pain and sadness. I love our home. I said that a week ago when we celebrated our two year anniversary of buying our house. But, Toby’s always missing. The pattern of his feet running after Luke upstairs. His giggle. The sound of his voice.
I know that being a mom is hard. That being a parent is challenging on a relationship. That it’s easy to complain about the little things in life. But try and remember – that’s what they are, little things.
- Reading yet another book before bed.
- Listening to your children argue about what show they want on.
- Letting them have 5 more minutes playing before dinner starts.
- Taking a shower while they talk to you outside the curtain about their day or what snack they want.
- Doing 10 loads of laundry a week. (I hate laundry, but I hate it even more because none of Toby’s things are there to fold.)
These are little things. And you have them. We never will with Toby.
So today, when you have a moment as a parent where you want to lose your temper or tell them to be quiet, take that extra moment and think of every parent who has lost a child or children. Pray for them. It doesn’t matter how long it has been. Their hearts need strength.
Pray for them and then give thanks for the moments you do have with your children.
I’d give anything for another moment with my son.