Ethan would have been four this year.
You think that as the years go by , it somehow gets easier. Less painful.
But as the years go by he disappears even more.
As a mom its hard to realize that he is disappearing from everyones heart. Everyones life. As a mom you try to do everything you can to keep your child alive. You do everything in your power to make sure no one forgets the child that you felt come into the world and then leave this world. You feel selfish at times because it is SO much easier for everyone else to forget. To move on. But for us? Time stands still and we struggle to move on.
I was gocery shopping the other day.
Harmless. Going for bread and milk.
As I was walking through the store I noticed a mom with her daughter. What caught my eye was how excited the daughter was to be in the vegetable isle. She was SO excited by the bananas and the apples. As I got coser I realized that the litte girl had Downs Syndrome. She was so sweet and so happy. I fell apart! I completely started crying in the middle of the produce isle. WHO does that?
When I was six months pregnant with Ethan and the doctor told me had Downs Syndrome? I was excited! I remember thinking…” This is great! He has Downs Syndrome! “. I remember feeling relieved and grateful. I remember thinking..” Really? Thats IT? I can totally handle this!”. But when the doctor told me that he would never survive outside of my body? I guess my brain just could not comprehend it. I had worked with “special” kids when I was younger. I had worked with children with Downs Syndrome. And they were fine! They were happy and healthy. I just could not understand why the doctors were giving my son a death sentence because he had Downs Syndrome? I couldn’t comprehend any of it.
When I saw this sweet little girl in the store I fell apart.
She was the reminder of how happy I was to hear that Ethan had Down Syndrome.To me, Downs Syndrome was not a death sentence. To me? The diagnosis meant my child was fine!
She was the reminder of the love and hope I had when I found out.
And she was the reminder of what I lost. Of how I would give anything to have in my life right now.
A reminder of how bad I wish he were here.
Wish I could hold him.
Wish I could feel his hand in my hand.
Wish that I were planning his 4th birthday this year.
But , instead?
I am planting flowers around his tree.
I am dusting off his little box of ashes.
I am staring at my youngest son and wondering if Ethan would have looked like him.
I am answering questions my four year old has about “who” Ethan was.
Four years later, almost. And I am still struggling to accept my son not being here.
And no one in my life seems to realize that losing my son has forever changed me. That losing my son has changed the person I was. I can never go back to being the person I was. I can never see life the way I used to. I think there are poeple in my life who will never know the “new me”. Who will never even try to know the “new me”. There is something so empty and so permanant about losing a child. I know people want us to get over it. To move on. But when I sit at the kitchen table everynight all I see is an empty chair. And empty seat in the minivan. A birthday party invitation that will never be sent out. Birthday presents and Christmas presents that will never be bought.
And I see a little girl with Downs Syndrome at the store….
And I fall apart…..