So for quite awhile now I have been obsessed with the thought of how I would have spent my time with Bryston had he survived. I just keep thinking that I was cheated out of the precious moments of parenthood with him. What would I have said to him, taught him, or done with him? What kind of a mommy would I have been? Bryston is my first born so I have no way to even compare this. What if the skies parted and God himself granted me one full day with Bryston? I could choose any age for him to be. I could spend this time anyway that I chose. What would I say to him? What would we do to make the kind of memories to last a lifetime? Would he know what had happened to him or what was happening with this one day. I wish I could say for sure what the answers to these questions would be. I wish I didn't have to imagine scenarios instead of living them.
I would love to hear your take on these questions and how you would spend your day. For those of you who decide to post on this, leave a comment below that you've posted your own blog on this and you will be entered in a drawing to win this letter photography framed photo that I purchased at Hobby Lobby, a favorite store of mine. I will draw names and post the winner sometime next week, Good Luck! (Even if you have not lost a baby, you can participate. Tell me if you'd go back and relive any age with any of your children, what and how would you do? What age did you choose?)
Lets say that this actually happened. And here's how I imagine that day would go.
As I open my eyes and crawl out of bed in the morning I cant shake the feeling that this is going to be one of those special kind of days. The kind of day where the size too small pants Ive been dying to get into for months actually fit, my hair has never looked better and I still have yet to comb it, and as I finish getting ready, oh whats this, my husband has not only cooked me breakfast but he has cleaned the entire house top to bottom! (Disclaimer, sadly yes this is fiction :) I exchange goodbyes with my husband and step out of the door to go to work. As I'm walking down the driveway I hear the unmistakable rumble of thunder. As I look to the sky searching for the thunder cloud or rain, I see the most majestic site. The sun is shining through the parted clouds and it is beautiful. I begin to get that feeling of smallness and even a bit faint. All of a sudden I notice how eerily silent the world around me has gotten. No birds chirping, No roar of any passing cars, or any idle conversations of the neighbors. Not even the wind or the thunder of a few minutes ago.
A light begins to invade my vision. Beautifully blinding light, but surprisingly it doesn't hurt my eyes. It just obstructs my vision of what is directly in front of me. Then I hear a voice. The very voice of God Almighty, the great I AM. He says to me, "Do not be afraid my child, Do not be dismayed for I am with you. I have caught your tears as they have fallen and held you in my love. I know your heart as I know the very number of hairs upon your head. I have come to offer peace and reassurance in your time of trouble." The lord then says to me that he is offering me 24 hours with my son. I can chose how to spend this time in any way that I feel is necessary toward healing my brokenness. I can choose the age that my son will appear in these 24hours, but I must choose to accept this knowing that when the 24 hours are over, I will have to give him back. I will have to say goodbye forever once again. Do I choose this blessing even with the impending heartache? My answer, is yes, when do we start? I would choose for Bryston to be the age of 6. This way I could tell him everything that I want to say and he could do the same but still have that childlike innocence. The lord then said, "So as I have promised, So it shall be. I will send your son tomorrow at dawn." And then he was gone. The birds are chirping once again and cool breeze is blowing.
I can barely sleep that night. I toss and turn in anticipation of Bryston's arrival.I cant stop my mind from racing. How will he appear? Will he knock on the door or just appear out of thin air? What will we do? How will he look or sound? Will he know me as his mommy? What will we do? What will I say? And before I even realize it, I'm asleep. The next thing that I know I'm yawning and stretching as the morning sun is filtering through the drapes. And then I hear it. A tiny voice asking, "Mommy?" I bolt straight up in bed and look at the foot of the bed. A boy, about 4 feet tall with chocolate brown hair and eyes looking at me. His eyes are so familiar and searching. He has a hint of freckles on his nose from being in the sun and his grin is his daddy's grin minus the two front teeth. He is everything I have ever imagined he would be. He is perfect. He is Bryston.
"Yes, baby?" He says, "I'm hungry." I pick him off the floor and bring him into me for a hug. And I as I breath in his scent, its heavenly, I ask, "What would you like baby? You can have anything in the world that you'd like?" He smiles a toothless smile and asks, "Even ice cream?" I laugh and say, "Yes baby, even ice cream." As I'm staring at him in disbelief over a bowl of chocolate ice cream I still cant believe that this is real, but I know how incredibly lucky I am to have even a second of this blessing. And then he looks at me with sad eyes and says, "Where have you been mommy, I've missed you." And here it is. Do I tell him that he's been dead? How do I explain this? So I say, "Well its a little complicated baby, but where you live, Mommy and Daddy cant be there for awhile. We haven't finished our work here yet. But you, you were a perfect little boy from the very beginning, so God gave you a pass. He decided that since you were so good here already that you got to go be with him in Heaven." Bryston, "Oh, is that why Great Grandma watches over me instead?" Taken aback I ask, "Great Grandma? Your with my Grandma up there?" Bryston explained, "Yeah, we do all kinds of fun stuff together! She's alot of fun!" I pause to take this in then reply,"I remember."
After breakfast I decide that we should do all the fun things that I thought we'd never get to do. First, fishing with Daddy. At the lake Bryston is wound up and excited to be with his dad. He is shadowing Ty's cast and mocking his daddy's serious I'm going to catch the big one face. Were laughing and betting who will catch the first fish. Ty helps him bate his hook and cast. I sit and watch in amazement and in wonder at the handsome little creature we created and said goodbye to far too soon. When Bryston catches a bluegill he yells and jumps up in excitement. Ty helps him real it in and I cheer them on. Bryston demands that we throw it back so it can grow to be big and strong like he wishes he could have. My eyes begin to sting and I call him over. "Hey buddy, I'm so sorry that you didn't get to be a big boy here with us. I would have liked nothing more than to have you with us everyday because we miss you and love you so much, and do you know what else? Every minute of everyday, I have you with me here anyway. In my heart, so that helps a little bit." Bryston says to me,"I know, I can feel it." I ask,"What do you mean?" "I mean that when you think about me and miss me, I can feel it." I say,"Really? I'm so glad to hear that baby," and give him a big hug. "Ready to go to the zoo?" Bryston smiled and said."YAY!"
Entering the zoo I see a sea of people and even more little boys dressed in similar red shirts that Bryston is wearing today. Inside I feel myself panic a little. I cant loose him again! As if he could read my thoughts Bryston reached up and takes my hand. I'm amazed at how it feels. It's as if his hand is a puzzle piece that's been missing and Ive just now found it to finish the puzzle that's been gathering dust, unfinished in the attic. We walk around the zoo looking at the animals. He is mesmerized by the sharks and laughs at the monkeys who are playing some sort of a tag and banana game. I ask, "Don't you have animals in Heaven?" He smiles and says, "Yes, but they are different here. Here they can be mean and hurt you or even themselves, but in Heaven they are all nice. No one needs anything, so there isn't any need to be be mean or hurt." I smile and say,"That sounds so nice." We stop and bye Cotton candy. Bryston devoured it as if it tasted like heaven itself. When he caught me staring at him inhaling his treat, we collapsed in giggles and I teased him about having my appetite. He rode on his daddy's shoulders the rest of the afternoon at the zoo. And if I didn't know better, it was as if he was a light as a feather. Ty didn't complain when he kicked his legs or leaned back too far. It was like he knew that Bryston couldn't get hurt today.
At home, I sit Bryston on my lap and read him a story. I read him a my great grandma Annie's poem and while I am reading I notice that he is mouthing the words. I stop and ask, "How do you know this?" Bryston looks up at me with those innocent eyes and states, "She tells it to me all the time." I am speechless. I still cant get a grip that this is really happening. I run my fingers through his hair as I finish reading. I then ask,"What do you want to do now, its gentleman's choice." He flashed me a smile and says, "Can we go to your church?" I ask, "My church?" "Yeah, the one where that man held your nose and put you under the water?" Amazed I ask,"You know about that?" "Yeah, I get to see lots of things up there. Things that have happened and things that will happen." I say, "Wow, Okay, lets go." As we enter the church, Bryston runs ahead of me. I walk softly and quietly down the isle. I feel like a stranger here. I notice that Bryston is kneeling as if tying his shoe. I ask,"You okay?" And then I notice what he is really doing. He is praying. His face looks so angelic in prayer that I don't repeat my question so I wont disturb him. When he is finished Bryston looks at me and says, "He says that your mad at him for taking me away. He says that you don't come back here anymore and that you don't talk to him much anymore." I feel my heart get heavier. I'm not quite sure how to address this. Bryston then says, "Mom, are you always going to be mad at him? You cant come see me if you are and I really want you to come see me and so does he!" As a tear trickles down my cheek I promise him that I will try not to be so mad anymore. And I tell him that all I have ever wanted is to be with him and that I will do anything to make sure that that happens. Bryston jumped up and ran into my arms and again I breath in his scent. I want to remember that until the day that Bryston greets me in Heaven. "Its getting late baby, we better get home."
Once home I begin to realize that the day is almost over. That soon I will put him in bed and when I wake up Bryston will no longer be here. I again start to feel my own smallness and how helpless I am in this situation. As I prepare to end our day, Ty burst through the door with presents and balloons in hand. He begins to belt out Happy Birthday at the top of his lungs in a cartoony voice that makes Bryston giggle. I smile and realize what is happening. We are going to celebrate Bryston's birthday early. We get to watch our son have a birthday for all the ones that we have missed and are going to miss. Bryston tears into his presents with a voracity that I have yet seen to be matched. He claps his hands in delight at his gifts and gives out the best thank you hugs that I could have ever imagined. We sing and Bryston blows out the 6 candles on the cake that Ty brought home. Bryston's lips are blue from the frosting and we tease him about smooching smurfs.
After the cake is gone and everyone had settled down for the evening, we all snuggle on the couch and watch a movie. I don't watch the movie because I am too busy mesmerizing his face and his reactions to the movie. He is so animated that his face could win Oscar for as interested as I am in watching it. He catches me staring and he sweetly smiles and whispers,"Ill miss you too mom." We snuggle in a little closer and I am grateful for this day. I am grateful for seeing his the color of his eyes and hearing the sound of his laugh. How can I be mad at God when he gave me this blessing? I cant be anything but in love in this moment. In love with this perfect little man that God sent me.
We must have fallen asleep on the couch because I again found myself yawning squinting at the light pouring in through the shades. I reached for Bryston but only find Ty's strong arm. He is gone. I lay there weeping and wishing for more time but still grateful. And somehow stronger than before. I feel peace for the first time in a long time. I get up and being a new day and a new way of grieving the son that I never knew, but now know.
I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Posted by The Blue Sparrow at 10:33 PM