Well, Timehop, thanks. Sincerely and also with a glare. These 17 days of our son’s beautiful life feel like a pilgrimage every October. Your body really and truly does not forget. It’s amazing to me how the sight of one picture or the smell of one pump of hand sanitizer can immediately transport me fully back to those two weeks in the NICU. How the design of one particular box of tissues on the grocery store shelf can portal me into the conference room of the funeral home. How walking into the doors of our church sanctuary puts me right back at his memorial service, wearing the dress that still hangs in my closet and the earrings that still rest in my jewelry box.
There’s so much I can’t recall about the blur of his life and death but I remember every single thing about this picture. The way the room looked, sounded, and felt. The smell of my baby boy‘s tiny head and the feel of his itty-bitty toes on my stomach. The dozens of cords and wires that had to be arranged and held just-so in order for us to experience the sweetest and simplest of snuggles. The way my sister stood to snap this picture. How proud and beautiful and thankful I felt.
Pictures like this make me live in the past, the present, and the future all at the same time.
It’ll make you crazy, if you let it.
It’ll bring you unspeakable love and depth, if you choose it. To peace in the storm, if you’ll release yourself to it. To stillness in the swirling sea of “this will never make sense”… if you’ll trust the One who can calm the waves and wind.
So I’m embracing it all today – love, joy, pain, ache, longing, wonder, gratitude, presence, hope, and belief. It’s a bewildering mix in mind and soul that’s driven me to craziness more often than I care to admit. So I’m choosing to allow it to guide me to depth and wholeness instead. To stillness. To peace.
13 years in, and I’m still learning as I go; loving with my whole heart, the whole way.