A Smile From A Memory

Dear Andrew,

We are now in month 22 since losing you. It’s November. Thanksgiving is just a week away. The leaves are changing to majestic colors and falling. And I keep waiting for you to come home. I’ll be sitting in the livingroom and will look at the staircase, still expecting you to walk down the stairs. Head down, looking at your phone as you come down. But, you’re not there. It’s still unfathomable at times that you are gone. I miss you so much.

Life keeps chugging along. Even without you here. Daily routine things. Somehow, the world and our family has continued to move forward. Work, school, dishes, laundry and errands continue. Most nights, I quietly cry myself to sleep thinking of you and that another day ended without you here. Somehow, we have started living life without you and getting used to it. Which, to me, is a double edged sword. On one hand, it has been very important to our family that we continue to live our lives. Going from a Party of Five to a Party of Four is hard but it’s important that we continue to thrive for your brother and sister. On the other hand, it’s disturbing that this is our reality. However, it is a reality I continue to move through.

One of the first things I do every morning while I am waiting for the coffee to brew, is to check my Facebook memories. I get so excited to see if there is a memory of you. Today, a memory from 8 years ago came up. You were 9. You had a doctor’s appointment that morning. You were so good at the appointment that I decided to take you out to lunch before bringing you back to school. We went to this local southern restaurant and had a true southern lunch. I had fried chicken, fried okra, cornbread and sweet tea. You had meatloaf, deviled eggs, cornbread and sweet tea. We had such a nice lunch date that day.

Mommy & Andrew lunch date!

When the picture came onto my screen, I immediately remembered that day and smiled remembering the memory. And then I realized what I had done. This was the first time that I thought of a memory of you and thought back to it fondly versus getting sad and letting a few tears drop from heartache.

This is a pretty big turning point for me. The fact that I smiled and felt happy at the memory made me realize I am starting to move to acceptance of your death. The fifth stage of grief. I never thought I would reach this stage. It has startled me. And scared me. How can I accept this? How can I be ok with this? My child. My son. Died.

It’s simply what I have to do. I can’t change what has happened. I can’t live under the covers in bed. I have so much to do. I have to continue taking care of our family. And of course, I know this is what you want. I know you have been watching over me, waiting for me to start to get to this point. Where the blood curdling devastation starts to subside. Where I start to peek out on the other side. Where I slowly become stronger. And continue to live while honoring you and your memory.

Some days, like today, are easier than other days. Sweet boy, don’t you worry…I am getting back up. I am starting to put back together the shattered pieces of my heart. There have been many bad days, but today…today is a good day, where your memory shines brightly through my soul. I will savor each and every sweet moment I had with you. Treasure them and fill with love and warmth when I think of you. I love you, baby boy.

Love, Mommy