4 years old. Happy Birthday my son.
How can something seem so far away & yet like yesterday. I was in church Sunday thinking about the details of that day. So much that I can remember...so much that has been forgotten. I think memory is one of the most twisty gifts from God. Not bad...just complicated. Loss of memory can bring us peace & rest from turmoil or it can cause regret & sorrow. The recollection of memories can do the exact same thing. That is twisty.
This year has been a big one. I remember struggling with the concept of moving to Texas (last June) because I felt like I was leaving Joshua behind. I talked with Matt about it a few times. I knew that we had to move but I still felt like I was turning my back on him & the memories of him. Or more I was worried that I would...if we moved. Needless to say that did not happen; in fact it seems like I think about him more. I am no longer distracted by work and people & busi-ness.
So we moved & have learned so much. But with learning comes new realizations. We have a little party for Joshua each year. (and will for as long as I am alive-insert stubbornness here) In Oregon we had people who knew us and had met Joshua who came to the party. Just family, but still people who knew. Now we are in a place where people know our story...but not because they were there or even because we are the ones who told it. They know because of my in-laws living the loss around them. I don't know how to invite people to celebrate a life they never knew. How awkward & odd. I almost asked a couple of good friends we met here but at the last minute I lost the confidence. "So, hey, you busy Monday night? We are having a birthday party for our son who is in Heaven...wanna come?" ya, this is new territory for sure. What the hell am I suppose to do with that. ugh.
It is so difficult because I want people to remember my son. I want them remember his life. It was short but that does not mean it was not a life. That it was not of value. The thought of people not remembering scares me...because it really is one of the only days were I feel like I have a right to make people uncomfortable by talking about him. Does that even make sense? Who likes talking about dead people? psh... how often we ignore the lives that have impacted ours the most because it hurts. I think a part of me also feels alone in my "missing" Joshua. Not that I want pity... I am just a proud momma.
I feel like there is this unusual catch-22 on this time of year. Society would press upon us to forget the past & let it go. When you don't feel, you know that you are healing. When you forget you know that you are growing. Why hold onto something (a memory) that hurts? This is you trying to get attention. ... So many unspoken pressure on this time from the outside world & also from myself.
I was worrying the other day that I was not feeling enough. Am I forgetting? Am I letting Joshua go because I have moved on with Sam? What if I feel sad...what if I don't feel sad?
Good gracious, slot-machine mind.
The fact is, I am sad. Sad that I don't have a 4-year old at his birthday party today. I am sad that I don't know what being a mother of a 4-year old feels like. I miss what could be, what would be...
But not what should be. There are a lot of reasons that this day & time makes me rejoice, even in my sadness. Though he is not here...Joshua is in my heart. Though he is not physically near I know that he is safe & sound. I dreamt about him the other night. It was amazing. He was looking at me with his blue-green eyes and smiling. I was watching him play among the clouds while laughing. Then I remember Matt waking me up...I had been crying in my sleep. For all the joy that I feel there is a little hint of sorrow because I have a son who I don't really know. I know his heart but his personality is lost to me. I can only assume. Until I meet him again, I will not know.
Yet Joshua has been promoted from this life into one that has no pain or fear or sorrow. Each person has his time...Joshua's came at a time we did not expect but we can not help but rejoice for all that he will never struggle though. I guess, until I get to Heaven, I will not understand the real gift that God gave my first born...and gave his mother.
In my lack of understanding the only solid rock I have is the knowledge that God is good. The fact is not logical, it can not be measured conventionally and often times feels inaccurate. But circumstance & feelings always change while God does not. Only what does not change can offer a reality like: goodness.
A very twisty day & week...and month....and life. But God is good...all the rest will come out in the wash.