Thursday, January 23, 2014
When a mama walks her memory of tears . . .
Yesterday marked the beginning of the end. 17 years ago, Daniel went into a coma. His last words to me were, "Mommy, I just wanna go home."
Words can't describe the agony of what life was like for us at that time. And who would have thought that 17 years later, the disbelief of what he went through and what we went through would still cause me an intense pain. I feel I have been punched right in my heart.
The word shouts at me: Why?
Why didn't I cuddle him then? How could I have been so naive? The doctor and nurses couldn't find a pulse. I should have picked him off that bed in the cancer clinic that day and spent time hugging him and telling him how much I loved him and how I would miss him.
But I was naive. I didn't know.
I walked with them as they wheeled him into the ER. At six months pregnant, I tried to keep up. I was confident that they would be able to help him as they had over the eight months since his diagnosis.
How foolish I was.
I feel the sadness of that day and the days that followed. My veins are like ice. I can barely type. The enormity of that journey paralyzes me. I want to push those days aside, but I know that with each revisiting of them at this time of year that leads up to his February 2nd death, I learn something new.
His death continues to teach me.
So I take my own advice and write him a letter. The words come slowly, but they do appear on the computer screen.
I was clueless.
I didn't know that you would ever leave me. It was not an option, so I didn't dwell on death. I believed you'd live. I believed you'd spring back up and be okay. Any boy who can climb up a bunk bed at age three, fall off and be undaunted should be able to defy anything.
I could kick myself for my trust that God would heal you.
That last sentence sounds sacrilegious.
But I won't delete it because it's true.
Yet, if I had let death be part of my thinking, would I have been any better off?
What would it have been like to live with the fear of death ever since your diagnosis?
I lived with hope and belief.
Should I kick myself for that?
Can I look at who I was then with the seasoned knowledge that I have now? Is that fair to that woman of 36?
Guilt. Regret. Remorse. If only . . .
I hope you know that if my love could have saved you, it would have.
But it was not enough.
You are home with Jesus now. Some place I hear is magnificent but my earthly mind is too little to comprehend Heaven.
On earth, you will always live in my heart.
Every year I go on a pilgrimage as I remember the days leading up to your death. It is my path of tears. Sometimes, I push aside the remorse, and just let myself bask in the person you were----energetic, beautiful, tender, lively, humorous, generous, and you and I both know it----downright exasperating at times.
Remember the time you poured baby lotion and glitter glue over a piece of paper and then opened a small box of Cheerios and stuck them to the paper? What a work of art! I should have kept it for the hospital wall of patient masterpieces.
We were all so weary living your cancer with you. But we were always hopeful.
Even when you breathed your last in my arms, I believed you would rise up.
We didn't call you Wild Boy for nothing.
I vision you, if you could, coming over to me to wrap arms around me and tell me, "Mommy, I love you. No regrets."
And perhaps that is what I will focus on today.