At my house, I’m the keeper of the calendar, the one who sends family greetings for birthdays, holidays and get well cards.
The first time I had to write a note and sign our family names, my heart stopped and air refused to fill my lungs.
Moving down the family line from my husband through me and each of our children, how was I going to mark the place where Dominic SHOULD be but no longer is? Or, better said, how do I represent the space he continues to hold in our hearts and lives but can no longer be easily seen by others?
You ADD children to your family, you don’t subtract them.
I have struggled with this for many months. I tried signing just the family name but that has always seemed impersonal to me–quick and easy and kind of lazy. I tried including only our living children and our new daughter-in-love which meant that there were still six names but my heart knew one was missing.
Dominic is a living, breathing heartbeat within my own chest.
You can’t know me without knowing him. My story, my family’s story includes him even though his physical presence is no longer with us.
So I have decided that I will list his name with ours on traditional family greetings.
[Dominic] will appear in the proper place on my family signature line.
Brackets are used in quotes to indicate that a direct quote has been edited–that something must be added to understand the context or to fit the quote into the surrounding information.
I will honor my son and let others know that although my life has been edited, the full text can only be understood by including him.