Looking deep into these eyes today … remembering what he looked like – one small detail at a time.
I know all mothers say that their kids are beautiful … but dang … what a handsome kid he was/is. What I remember the most is the way his hair and head felt under my hand. I used to run my hand from his forehead to the back of his head all the time. His hair was smooth and his head perfectly round. And those eyes … doe like. Always soft.
These pictures almost seem like someone else’s. Like I’m staring at someone else’s child. The harsh reality on how quickly life changes. And proof that healing is possible.
I lay in bed … Listening to the thunder. I smile as I think of what the Schaefer kids would tell me … It’s the angels laughing.
I can’t picture what his face looks like. I close my eyes and I only see a blank face. A face without eyes, nose or a mouth. I don’t look at pictures of him. Although I think of him every other minute. Seeing his picture reminds me of how really gone he is. If I keep him in my heart, then in some ways he feels as though he is still alive. That part of my son isn’t gone … The part that I carry with me. It’s the same part that had me worried when I didn’t know exactly where his ashes were or the part of me that found comfort when the officials would update me as to where his body was and where it would go next. It’s the part of a mother that never stops worrying.
I carry each of my kids in my heart. I pray for each of them. I meditate on their names. I hold them up. I cherish their little souls and I ask for the strength and wisdom to be the Lord’s arms in hugging them. I do this for all four of my boys.
When I look at his picture … His face is forever frozen in time. Forever having a gummy smile. His baby face. Those large, round, dark eyes. I want to see his face. I want to look at him all the time. But it’s just more proof of the loss … A different kind of pain than just remembering he died.
It’s looking at a face that has life and then remembering his lifeless eyes while doing CPR. It’s seeing him giggle and coo in home videos and then remembering his doll like stillness at his funeral. It’s disgusting knowing that life once filled those eyes. Knowing that looking at a picture of my own flesh and blood can hurt so badly.
I welcome the pain as much as I fear it. The more I welcome it the quicker I will become accustomed to it. The less interrupting the pain will be. If I open myself to it … The pain will be absorbed and become part of my flesh. A pain that will make me stronger. A pain that will eventually hold me together. It becomes the bricks in my foundation. Apart of the path that is life.
So tomorrow I’m going to look at his picture. Stare at his face until the pain is numb. Then I’ll do it all over again. Convince myself that I will see his face again some day … Remind myself that he is still with me … And forgive myself for not remembering what he looks like some days.
Easter is almost here … crazy. I naturally think about what we were doing last year. Last year Doug and I were so excited to bring the triplets up to Green Bay for the first time. I remember their matching “My First Easter” onesies. I can remember taking tons of pictures as it was the first time many of Doug’s relatives had met the new babies. Then I remember printing the photos for the boards at Owen’s funeral … that quick a happy memory is brought back to reality.
I’m not really sure how I feel about Easter. We are going up to Green Bay again to visit Doug’s family. I might be the only wife who gets excited to see her in-laws I don’t have an extended family to offer my kids and family is so important. My heart is so happy seeing Jaden run around with the cousins and having so much fun. I’m really glad Doug agreed to make the drive up again this year.
In the same breath I fear doing the same thing. Will Owen’s absence feel greater by being in the same house? With the same people? Every second of reality being echoed by a memory of what used to be. I welcome the pain. It’s how I know I’m still alive – I feel.
The hype of the one year anniversary continues to build. I’ve been thinking of what I want to do to honor the day. I don’t want it to pass like just any other day. There are people who I think of every day that should be recognized. I still think of the paramedics who flooded the nursery sometimes when I walk in to change a diaper. I picture the view from the ambulance front seat when I drive past the fire station on my way to the grocery store. There is no escaping these memories and flash backs. The come without warning and leave a trail of raw pain.
I’ll figure out a way to remember Owen in a special way on Easter. I still have a few days to figure it out. To prepare myself for what I may or may not feel/think.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from last Easter. So much life and wonder in these. I miss Owen.
(Logan, Owen, Weston)
My sister just bought the boys’ Easter outfits – just wait to see what they’ll have on this year. I’ll be posting pictures for sure!