Friday, January 17, 2014

I would dig through the earth.

Yesterday, I looked around my home. At the pictures on the wall, his things sitting in the corner, the med cabinet that is now empty of all his needs. All I could see and feel were reminders that my child is not coming back. This last week has been especially difficult for me. It's been 3.5 months since Wyatt has died and the world around me has moved on. It keeps going.

How can 3.5 months feel like so long, yet feel like it was just yesterday too?

Yesterday I spent time sitting at my son's grave. The place where his body lies under the cold winter ground below me. Sometimes I just need to be there, with him.

As I walked up to his Superman themed marker yesterday I felt the urge to fall to my knees and begin to dig. To claw at the frozen ground. To dig through the dirt, the mud, the earth. To dig down to the box my son's body now lies in. I want to hold him one more time. To just hold what's left of his body that once came from my own.

I stared at the ground and the things that have been left for him: the green matchbox truck that has been buried in snow showers and soaked by rain now has dirt dried on its side, a snowman that hangs on a hook and lights up when it gets dark -- its globe sparkles in the sunlight, the Superman ornament whose glitter reflects the light of the day as it hangs with the snowman on its stake in the ground, a shiny purple and green hummingbird that bounces as the wind blows, the Christmas wreaths and decorations left from his first Christmas in Heaven. His little space is cluttered with gifts of remembrance and love.

I found myself crouched down beside his things and whispering "How did this happen?"

I know what happened. I know exactly how it happened. Sometimes it hits me so hard it feels as if I've been physically beaten. The breath knocked out of me, my body damaged, my heart torn in two. But I still found myself asking this question.

My body began to shake as I cried when I sat in my car preparing to drive away from my son again. After some time I finally left the cemetery and drove back to our home. It was time for the girls to be coming home from school. I could see the school buses lining up around the schools as I pulled away from Wyatt's space in the cemetery.

The rest of my life, living without one of my children, feels like forever.
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Monday, January 13, 2014

Hearing his voice again.

The other night I must have been in that strange point, between awake and sleeping...have you ever experienced that? It was the wee hours of the morning and I heard Wyatt's voice calling out "Moooommmmyy..." clear as could be. It sounded so crisp and so, so real.

His voice was so vivid that I woke up and was about to climb out of bed to go to him. I found myself feeling relief that he was there...that it must have all been a bad dream. I then stopped myself from moving, just as I started to realize that he was not actually here and the last 3.5 months was not what I was dreaming of.

Oh.

His voice sounded so familiar, so close, so right. For a second or two, I found myself feeling as if it was possible that I had only dreamed he had died.

I miss my boy so much it hurts.

I listened for awhile...hoping to hear his voice again through the bedroom walls. But I didn't. I laid awake the next several hours wishing I was right, that it could have been a bad dream. I wish so badly it was all just a bad dream. I wish I could see him upright, healthy, happy and smiling. Walking through the door with a book bag hanging over his shoulders just after coming off the bus with the girls, asking to play another sport or join a club, doing homework or asking to play with his friends.

Who would be his best friend? Would he tell me about his day or give me the same one word responses that his older sister gives me most days? If he wasn't sick, what would he do for fun? 

But that life wasn't meant to be for him or us, apparently.

Instead, his pillow with the Pittsburgh Steelers pillow case is laying on top of the small, blue tinted Rubbermaid bin of folded sheets that was stored under his bed. We bought him that Steelers sheet set when we went shopping for Jilly's birthday present. The small bin of sheets with his pillow laying on the top is sitting on our dryer, next to our washing machine. The pillow case hasn't been washed. I can't wash it, it smells of my son. The smells of his shampoo and what we referred to as his "manly" body lotion still linger on the enlarged football logo. I ran my fingers through his hair and kissed his cheek and forehead so many times as his head laid on that pillow. That little stack of bedding is certainly in the way sitting on top of the dryer, but I don't care. I can imagine him laying beside me when I see and smell that pillow, my body remembers the feel of my fingers combing through his hair and my lips kissing his forehead. My tears rush to the surface with force, but breathing in his scent is all I have left.
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

With him, for him, because of him.

When the time came Wyatt had big plans for when he got to Heaven. He looked forward to being free of all his tubes, IV lines and attachments. As well as all the pain and fear and worries. We did a lot of preparing and tried to help him focus on these things as he grew closer to the time. When asked of the first thing he wanted to do when he woke up in Heaven, Wyatt replied with a hopeful smile, "Run." He was looking forward to being able to run again. 

After my dear boy died I actually began to run again too. I used to run miles in the past, prior to having children. That was quite awhile ago...in fact, I could even say a whole different body ago! But it's never too late to start again. Right? I'm working on it. And this time, I'd like to think I'm running with my favorite boy. While he may not be physically beside me, I hope he's been running in Heaven since the moment he arrived.

I'm running with him. And for him...for all the years he tried to keep up with his sisters and friends. For all the pain that running used to cause him. For all the tubes, lines and backpacks full of his only source of nutrition that limited him. For all the weakened muscles and painful nerves that he struggled to make work together for as long as possible. For all the years he couldn't run, but wanted to so badly. For all the years his broken body failed him.

I can imagine that boy of mine smiling, probably even laughing at me, and cheering me on simultaneously. That kid rarely turned down a challenge. He enjoyed proving himself and his strength. And I enjoyed watching him! I could often use that competitive nature to my advantage the last few years, when getting him to move his body, stretch, sit up or sometimes to even just open his eyes. It came in handy. 

After Wyatt died I wasn't sure we'd ever go back to Disney World. I even went as far to say that we would not. That was his place, his love. We have so many memories there together, I couldn't imagine going without him. Seeing all his favorite places, the rides that he loved the most and the rides that he loved to talk about but couldn't ride. Maybe you already know, but along with being 'the happiest place on earth' and full of magic, Disney World also hosts several races through the course of the year...shorter distances on up to Marathon lengths through the parks.

We are going back.

I've never ran a "race" beyond a quick stint running track in high school. And I have quite a ways to go before I will feel prepared. But this May, the four of us are going back to Disney World, for him. We're now registered for our first RunDisney race in honor of our super boy.

We'll be running with him, but also for him. 


To take chances, be brave, follow your heart, believe you can and do it...anything is possible. These are all things my son has taught me. 

With you and for you...because of you, Wyatt.
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