I awoke last week like I do most nights, with a kink in my neck and a sweaty little boy pressed as closely to me as possible. I climbed over him and out of bed, scooped him up and and began the trek back to his bedroom, but not before glancing at the clock that glowed 3:25. As I tucked Emmitt back into bed he turned his head toward me and whispered without ever opening his eyes, "Mama, I miss Zekiel."
"I know baby, so do I." I replied.
"But we're getting a new baby," he mumbled.
"Yes, but that doesn't mean we won't miss Zekiel. He'll always be our baby."
He nodded gently with his eyes still squeezed shut, "I just wuv him so much!"
"Me too, buddy. Me too."
Emmitt rolled to his left, pulled his blanket up by his cheek and the conversation ended as sweetly as it began. It had been exactly five months since I'd held my sweet baby, since I kissed him goodbye: I laid there squeezing him even tighter than before as the tears rolled down my cheeks. His innocence is so pure, so sweet.
The thought of his pain wrecks me. Sometimes, most of the time, I wish I could just bare it all for my children and let them go on living life, without the pain, or the sadness. Without the hole of someone always missing. I convince myself that if it was just me it would be different, just me that felt the ache. But it's not, and it won't be. I wonder what this memory will be like for them in five years, ten or even as grown adults. I pray it doesn't fill them with bitterness.
One of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp, wrote that her very first memory... ever, was at the age of four - watching her sister get ran over by a truck. Will that be my son? MY son? Will the first thing he can ever recall of his life be of paramedics swarming our living room and cradling his baby brother away? I ache to fix it. To mend every tainted memory and replace them with roses and butterflies. To wipe tears and replace them with laughter. To let him see his brother crawl, and pull up, and for goodness sake, even walk. Emmitt has wanted to see his brother walk from the day he was born.
But I can't, I can't take it away. I can't make it disappear. Nothing has made me feel more helpless than raising children. And they aren't even raised yet! They're still just babes, tiny little souls with blank canvases ahead of them. I wish I could sacrifice everything so that I knew their souls were guaranteed eternity with our creator.
I've always been good at algorithms. I can follow steps like a mad-woman. If only there was a simple equation, even a complex one-I'd master that! Anything to guarantee their hearts knew our creator, knew His love for them!
And so I sit, with my arms tied behind my back and I cry out to my Lord, please Jesus, grab hold of their souls. Woo them to You-no matter what it takes. May they see Your creation all around them and not be able to deny Your goodness, Your faithfulness, Your undeniable love.