My sweet Josh,
How has it already been one year without you? It doesn’t feel like it could possibly have been a year but at the same time, it feels like lifetimes ago since I held you and breathed in your sweet aroma and kissed your feathery soft hair. Every day I walk into your brother’s room, I think about how you should be there too. I spent hours rearranging and painting your room so you and your brother would fit in it together seamlessly. I hung up all of your adorable baby clothes and organized them into sizes.
Everything was ready for you to come home.
I couldn’t wait until you were finally home. Home, where I could hold you and snuggle you on our very own couch, maybe watch some TV. Home, where we could cuddle while your brother and sister played outside in the back yard. Home, where I could talk to you and sing to you without a stranger walking in and interrupting us. Oh home, the place I dreamed of you being from the day you were born
I wish I could have spent more time with you.
The fact is, I always thought you would be home soon. I never thought that pretty much our only time together would be inside those walls of the hospital, navigating around the tubes and IV’s you were connected to. But I believe God gave us many miracles the day you were born. The first being, you. The fact that you were born and born full term was a miracle. Every time you took a breath before your trachea was fixed, was truly a miracle. What you endured my son; you astound me. But the last miracle we got was our wish to take you home. You were showing signs of respiratory distress in the hospital that Friday. I think even the nurse was wondering why the doctors said we could take you home. I don’t see it as a fault on the doctor’s part; I see it as a gift.
We were scared but so ready at the same time. Just that morning your oxygen went down into the 30’s and they had to “bag” you back up. Whatever we went through, it had to be better just being home with you. Because of that doctor, we were able to spend time with you as a family of five, finally all under the same roof. The bath you took with your siblings and me admiring you after the bath with nothing stuck into or on your body besides your oxygen tube was a gift. Me being able to hold you at night and comfort you when you cried, I just couldn’t take that for granted anymore like I did with my other babies.
The fact that you died with your dad and I in the same room, it brings me some peace. I hope you felt that we were near. My brother said it was almost as if you were waiting until you were home, to finally feel like you could stop fighting.
I thank God I got to be your mother because I know I wasn’t just your mother for 81 days. I’ll always be your mother and you will always be my son. I carry you with me forever, as a mother carries her unborn baby. You are forever a part of me and when people get to know me, they will inevitably get to know you too.
Thank you for showing me that worrying about things I can’t control is futile. Thank you for showing me, from the day you were born, that I can go through the worst pain of my life and survive. Thank you for showing me that every single life is so precious and meaningful, no matter how short and no matter how “broken” the world thinks it is. Thank you. You were worth it. Every minute. I’m so glad I got to meet you and hold you and see you smile!
And now, one year later, your brother and sister still talk about you all the time. We carry your memory, legacy, and warrior spirit with us through every day. There is nothing we do as a family that we don’t think about how you would fit perfectly into ours. As I watch other one year olds I think about what your life might be like and what skills you might be mastering. I always wonder how you would have looked as you grew. You were such a handsome baby with an amazing jawline!:) I know you would want us to live life well, with joy and peace. While I still struggle with anxiety, you’ve taught me to be more present in the moment and not worry so much about the future. And ultimately, I know that the ending is a happy one. Death doesn’t hold as much sting when I know it brings me closer to you. I can’t wait until we can all be a family again.