Two years ago I tucked my boys into their beds for the last time. I heard them goofing around and laughing together for the last time. I don't remember the night much. I don't know if I stopped to cherish their playful before-bed-banter or if I was just tired and annoyed that they were staying up much too late when we had to all get up so early in the morning. I'm sure I was preoccupied with packing up the diaper bag with changes of clothing for J, snacks and toys to entertain Little Man during J's routine hernia repair surgery, and getting directions off the computer on which route to take and where to park at the hospital.
Tomorrow morning I'll remember how two years ago was the last time I
ever heard my sweet boy laugh. It was two weeks before his third
birthday. He loved Toy Story and he loved dinosaurs and on an impulse
two days earlier I had bought him a T-Rex flashlight. I hid it from Daddy so he wouldn't get mad over the frivolous purchase. We brought it
to the hospital and I can still see him in the hospital gown, running in
circles opening and closing Rex's mouth and laughing. He was so
happy. So vibrant.
And then the nurses took him back for his hernia repair. And I waited.
And waited. And the surgeon came in and told me they had some problems
with the intubation and was I sure he wasn't sick? And then he had to
stay for observation because his oxygen wouldn't come up. So we
waited. And waited some more, watching cartoons in a recovery room. I
didn't have a signal on my phone and the phone in the room was only for
local calls so I couldn't call Hubs from the room. I used the lobby
phone and left him a message to come. And then a new doctor came in and
said he needed chest x-rays. He had pleural effusions and one lung was
almost completely collapsed. My sister-in-law picked up Little Man and I
started to really freak out about what was happening and panicking that Hubby wasn't here to help me understand and make the right decisions. He arrived just before we went to the PICU for the first of many chest
Tomorrow is the two year anniversary of all hell breaking loose in our
lives. Tonight marks the two year anniversary of the last time we all
slept under the same roof. And the next four months hold nightmarish
anniversary after nightmarish anniversary that I'd rather not remember,
except that it was precious time with my precious boy.
The scars are cracking and bleeding a little more tonight. We all miss
him so much. We talk about him and remember him and smile and laugh and
it is good and terrible all together. And the clock keeps taking us
farther and farther away from him. It's getting harder and harder to
picture how it would be if he were still here. Harder and harder to
picture my family all as one. And my heart breaks and bleeds a little
more. There is no such thing as moving on, but we do have to keep
moving. It's just that instead of J moving with us, there is a hole
along for the ride. A big, empty space where sunshine used to reign.