I’ve been in a rut for basically the entirety of 2019. From starting the year with a rough encounter with Flu A, to traveling to see family and meet a new nephew, I’m tired and February 10th has snuck up on me. Except it hasn’t really snuck up at all. It’s been more like a dark, heavy rain cloud in the distance. The ones where you know a storm is coming but are unsure of when it will cover you. Every day I wake up and realize that I’m one day closer to 2 full years without my son. Two. Full. Years.
When I was back east to snuggle with our family’s newest addition, it wasn’t surprising that I felt that things of heartache. The slightest sadness that comes when a baby cries or you get to smell that newborn head. A dear friend asked if me it felt like holding George Mason. The only answer I could muster was that I don’t remember. That’s the truth. I have images in my head from his day. The various hospital rooms. The countless hours of worry and hope. The doctor check ins. And the finality of walking out of that NICU room knowing our son had entered eternity and we would never see him again. I have those images etched into the deepest places of my heart. But I don’t remember what it felt like to hold him - except that I was terrified of hurting him or pulling on one of his numerous tubes. I don’t remember what he smelled like. I don’t remember. I can see that day so vividly in my head, it feels like yesterday, but when I try to recall the tangible details, my memory fails me.
We’ve been back to reality for about a week now. Life goes on. Winter continues. Snow abounds. I had a mid-year phone call with Audrey’s preschool teacher. All is well. But the teacher told me about a drawing that Audrey had some of her family. This time it included George Mason. Except he was just a scribble at the top of the page. When the teacher asked her why he was just a scribble her answer was heart wrenching - “he’s dead” ... eventually she decided that even in heaven, George Mason probably has a face. So she drew a small circle over the scribble. Audrey’s memories are failing her too. She can recognize her brother in pictures. She can talk about her brother as an idea. But the actual details of who he is/was, those are small and fleeting. It was such an insight into her own grief. Such a reminder that we all miss him. We all have our own moments of intense sorrow. We all have very little to recall, and it’s fading.
I know God’s mercies are perfect for each new day. I know he has been in these moments of sorrow. He’s wept alongside me as our little family gets up close with the brokenness of this world. All of the “it’s not supposed to be like this” moments. All of the “why didn’t you just save him?!” moments. All of the moments of every single day; from the moment we were born, for eternity. These are things I know. They are also things that I’m so thankful I’ve experienced and noticed and felt as truth on so many days. Because it makes days like today - where the weather is gross, the snow is calf high, and my mood is less than enthusiastic- tolerable. I can get through today because He has proven over and over that He will never leave me. And even though His presence doesn’t feel particularly near today, I know He’s in this with me.