All winter I waited for spring and summer thinking that when the warmer weather approached, the signs of new life outside, the flowers blooming, and the smell of sweet grilling that I would feel refreshed and renewed but if anything I feel more off than ever. The warmer weather brings a new set of firsts, a new set of memories, a new side of grief, a new breed of anxiety, and a fear of September. The days just keep passing by. Sometimes a day will seem so slow and some days I wonder where time goes. Spring came and baseball season has almost finished. I love watching Drew play sports but baseball just wasn’t the same without chasing Nate out of the dirt. It wasn’t the same without lugging his backpack full of snacks and trucks to the fields. It wasn’t the same without him asking if it was time to go to the snack shack yet. I miss that cute face. Right now, in this moment, I wish next week would not happen. Next week is the last day of the school year for Drew and as happy as I am to have a break for the school year, and look ahead to lazy days of summer and vacations, I am also filled with sadness of not seeing Nate’s face as he gets off that bus the last day of school running up the driveway ready to tackle the summer like a champ. He would be bouncing off the walls with summer excitement right now. He would taking advantage of every warm minute outside and coming inside exhausted with his feet filthy dirty headed for a shower. There is something about that last day of school that I am just not ready for emotionally. Maybe it’s the fear of the official start of summer. Summer may be my biggest hurdle. It’s a hurdle I’m going to work through but it will take some time. Nate loved being outdoors and loved summer. So many of our memories are of Nate outside playing in the dirt, in the sprinkler, on the trampoline, on the swing set, playing tag, riding bikes, you name it and he probably did it. Last week I stumbled across a picture of him riding his bike down our front yard hill with his preschool back pack on and I had to chuckle. He cracked us up. He was full of life and had no fear. He was a bit of a momma’s boy when he was sick and he would get his feelings hurt easily but when it came to being playful there wasn’t much he wouldn’t try. We miss him so much.
I’ve heard that people who’ve lost loved ones will say that they now view the sky differently. Until recently that view didn’t make total sense to me. Yes, I viewed rain differently – it was no longer just rain. Some days, as the rain poured, I saw God just pouring out his love. I really hadn’t looked at the sky any different until a few months ago. I was driving back from errands on an emotional day and happened to look up. The sky was a beautiful blue with a few clouds and as I looked up I could see rays of sunshine shimmering through the clouds. It was again as if Gods love was pouring out sunshine onto me. I began to really see the sky then. A few weeks later, on a beautiful night, I looked outside and saw a nearly full moon. It was just gorgeous. I immediately thought of Nate and that “Blue Moon” he was so excited to take pictures of with his Nanny last year. I’m not even sure Nate fully understood what he was so excited about but the spontaneity of pulling off on a side street to take pictures of a “blue” moon was enough to spark interest and excitement for Nate. I took a picture of the full moon last month and asked Justin if he had seen it too and he immediately conveyed he was thinking the same thing I was. It reminded us of Nate. Within minutes, I’d received several messages from family and friends about the full moon. I had an overwhelming sense that Nate was beaming down on us that night. Just a few nights later, as we sat watching fireworks at a Frederick Keys baseball game, I found myself in tears watching fireworks as I thought about Nate. In a glance, I looked over in the sky to see, another nearly full moon. It brought me peace to thinking of Nate and the full moon and that he was beaming down in that moment with us. So, now, I understand the sky a little better. I see it in a different light.
Last night I had vivid dreams. I am not a big “dreamer” and when I do dream I usually don’t remember anything by morning. I remember a few months ago having a dream and being able to hear Nate and see his body but never in my dream could I see his face. I woke up that morning feeling very frustrated with myself because I just wanted to see Nate’s face. I kept thinking “If I could just see his face”. I had a dream last night and I saw Nate’s face. It was beautiful. I’m not sure what most of the dream was but I think it was an ordinary day and I remember just being in awe of seeing Nate. I held his face with both hands. I said to him “You’re here” as he looked at me with confusion. Even in my dream I knew what my reality was but for that brief moment… it was as if it was “all a dream”. I woke up feeling sad this morning and missing Nate more than ever because I had that brief moment with him. Maybe, God, let me see Nate’s face last night to show me that he is okay. God does hear me. He does hear my prayers, my hopes, and my heartache.
There are days that I get by just by going through the motions. There are days that I embrace every moment with an open heart. Then there are days where I’d really just rather lock myself in a box and not think or talk or feel. There are days where I laugh and smile and embrace every blessing. There are days where I really feel like I’m living a horrible dream. There are days I have so much to say and share and there are days I’d like to lock up every memory and keep them as only mine. The process of healing is a long and windy road with bumps and hills along the way. Just when I have a few days that I feel normal (whatever normal is) it seems like I have a day to set me back. But as quickly as that setback, lock me in a box day, hits I pick myself back up and keep moving forward. I keep moving forward because I make a decision each day to wake up and be bitter or better. I do not want to live my life as a bitter servant. I want to live my life knowing that He is the hand that holds me when I am sad and the hand that pushes me through the day when I need pushed. And He is the God who smiles with me when I smile too. He is my Hope.
I love this song “Beam Me Up” by Pink. As I wrote this post and thought about the dream, my holding Nate’s face, and the moon this song came to mind.
All my love,