Fall is proving to be a difficult time of year. I love the gilded sky and the crisp air. The leaves crunching under my feet as I continue to run to staff off so many mixed emotions.
The calendar ticks off yet another year. Another year without our Sweet Baby Girl. November 2. That date screams at me from the calendar. It has been 3 years now. Madeline has been gone from this life twice as long as she graced our presence. Sixteen months that completely altered my 47 years and forever changed my mind and heart. The time that is supposed to “heal all wounds” does not exist. That time simply passes as I continue to search for comfort while forging a new path.
Madeline would be 4 years old now. As the holidays approach it is painful to watch all that I perceive I am missing, as well as my family. I watch the Big Brother play with the neighbor kids who are that age. He is a gentle giant and I ache for all that he could have had with his baby sister whom he adored. It touches my heart to see that in all of his adolescent craziness his screen saver, on the electronics I despise, is a photo of his sister. He wants to go to a high school that is an inconvenient drive. One reason, “Mom, they have kids there that have Down Syndrome, and they are really cool.” So, you have probably already guessed who is going to be driving a lot.
The Little Brother struggles with all of these emotions that he can’t understand or control. We have been told he is, “academically gifted”. I just want him to get through a day at school without melting down.
Johnny is a classic case of still waters running deep. He is acutely aware of his own sadness. There was a memorial service at church for all those in our parish on “All Souls Day.” He didn’t want to go. I said, “it will be a nice time to remember Madeline.” He said, “I remember her all the time. It makes me too sad.” Me to, Johnny, me to.
Life continues, despite such loss, that is the cruel irony. I have a job that I never thought I would have. I teach middle school reading. 180 new children who have endeared themselves to me. Without Madeline’s lessons I would probably not have the patience for this. The irony, if she was here, I would not being doing this.
As I look at the remaining leaves on a wet fall morning, I have bittersweet memories of a similar view from a hospital window. A hospital I couldn’t wait to leave but long for the time that room was filled with a Sweet Baby Girl.
Exactly a year ago I wrote Gilded Tears. I still pray for a crisp fall morning in a gilded sky with my Sweet Baby Girl.