I remember...6 years ago

24 August 2018

I awoke with a heavy heart this morning... 6 years ago we buried you...I remember so much of that day. I remember waking up again in shock thinking I can’t believe this is really happening. I remember my neighbor coming over sitting on the couch with me crying so hard he couldn’t talk. I remember putting on the same black dress I had worn to my grandmothers funeral years before. I remember walking into the cold funeral home with photos of him everywhere - and still feeling like this must all be some big mistake - some awful nightmare. I remember taking Xanax and hoping that would numb me just a little. I remember holding onto his lovey as each person approached me - begging this little plush animal to bring me strength from Hayden. I remember seeing so many people come through that line - people from all over the country that I never expected to see. People who drove long distances just to hug me and say ‘I’m so sorry...’ people who came to pay their respects to our family and to a baby boy whom they never met - but who touched them deeply.

I remember my aunt walking up to me. She’d traveled from Canada - and she too had a baby die 20+ years ago from HLHS. I remember sobbing loudly and finally releasing all the pain inside - she too knew that pain. I remember the whole football team coming through - and I remember feeling bad for them - how awkward that must have been for them and how foreign.

I remember being at the cemetery with our family and close friends. I remember standing there and not being able to move once the service was over. I remember my best friend coming over to me and putting her arm in mine and physically walking me down to my car - Rob’s best friend did the same for him.

I remember being at the wake - or whatever you call that place afterwards - and taking another Xanax. Needing some more numbness. I remember trying to make that part of the day a celebration of life - hanging his clothes on a clothesline, his photos all over, favorite toys, baby book... I remember going in and out of confusion - like a fog - all my favorite people from all walks of life were in one room - and I loved that - but hated so badly why.

I remember the hours and days that followed - wondering how I was going to make it through this. How I was going to go to sleep each night and wake up each day without him. I remember wondering when this pain in my chest would ever lessen. When I would ever live a life full of happiness and joy again. I assumed I never would - and was trying to figure out how to accept that. 

All of these memories flooded back this morning before I even opened my eyes - and I could feel tears streaming down. And then I opened my eyes - and my eyes saw the most perfect sight - my rainbow, my sidekick lying next to me. A few seconds later he opened his eyes and said 'Mommy its just me and you!' And we cuddled for a minute. Soon after he asked me to come with him. He pulled me into our cove where we had just gotten a new couch since moving Greyson into the boys room and he snuggled with me on the couch - telling me he loved me so much, giving me hugs and reminding me how beautiful my life is. Reminding me that I live a life full of joy and happiness and that the acceptance I have in my heart isn't about living without it - but living a life full of it. In that moment I felt tears again - and not just for missing Hayden, but also for deep deep gratitude to God for blessing me with this child - this life I live. Full of love - full of joy - full of memories of a boy we lost, but will never forget. 

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