I remember when the first anniversary of Dominic’s death rolled around.
I was horrified that I had survived 365 days when I was certain I would not make it 24 hours.
Here I am three years later-the fourth anniversary of that awful day.
I’m still horrified on some level-it is obscene for a mother to outlive her child-completely Unnatural.
I’m also thankful-thankful that God has given me the strength to persevere when every fiber of my mama’s heart wants to give up.
Who in their right mind would CHOOSE to carry this pain?
And I miss Dominic.
I miss his voice which is increasingly hard to conjure in my mind. I miss his sharp wit and snarky commentary on political and social events. Now that I finally figured out how to tweet, I wish we could exchange comments and quotes. I miss his laugh.
I miss the family I used to have. The one that could look forward without fear of waking one morning to another member gone-poof! The family that was only going to grow, not shrink. A mother’s heart is absolutely ready to expand, but refuses to get smaller because a child is no longer present to receive her love.
I miss my rock-solid faith in a God Who promised to bless if I only followed. I am not calling His character into question-I believe as firmly today that He is weaving a good story out of every circumstance as I did before Dominic left us. But I do not receive this blow as a blessing.
I miss the enthusiasm I used to have for everyday events. Making things special and beautiful was the joy of my heart. I loved, loved, loved to add thoughtful touches to a meal or a moment. While I am just as committed to my family as I ever was, I rarely have the energy for these things anymore.
I miss the future I thought we would all have together. I am still so wounded I refuse to look much further than a month ahead unless absolutely necessary. The old me who envisioned grandchildren and golden years is gone.
I am utterly unprepared to declare Dominic’s “legacy”. Of course my child influenced people. That’s what we do-we interact and influence and leave a trail behind.
But that is completely different than making a choice about what to invest your life’s energy into-completely different than what one attributes to a person whose long life leaves behind actions, words and work that form a cohesive testimony to a personality or passion.
I am not hiding in a hole. I do not spend days in bed or sitting, sulking and silent, shaking my fist at the sky.
Even today I will get up, get dressed and DO what needs to be done.
But I will be mindful that one of my children is beyond reach. One piece of my heart is unavailable for me to hold.
I will cry at what I’ve lost and be thankful for what I had.
I will look at pictures of Dominic and wish photos and memories were not all that is left of my third child.
I will continue to live the life I didn’t choose.