Sunday, January 7, 2024

My Son...

Oh Aaron,
We talked and laughed about you at dinner tonight, and I didn't cry. 

We recalled the time at church a man held out his fist for a bump and you turned away, and not two minutes later a teenage boy came by and you reached out to do stones with him. Oh, TJ razzed Brother Lindsley something fierce over that! And everyone laughed, including you.

There was the time newborn Linnaea was crying and you joined her. Except you weren't really crying, you were mimicking her and then pausing to see if we all realized how cute you were being. Twins, in stereo! Except you were a lot older and being goofy. 

Once when I needed a nap, I tasked Andrew with your care. He was trying to do something in the other room, but your pulse/ox kept going off. So he'd come check you and you'd be fine. He'd leave, and you'd alarm again. Checked on you and there was no problem. After several times, he left but peered around the corner to watch you reach down to your cord, yank on it until it alarmed, and then drop it as soon as he showed up. And you laughed. You may not have been verbal, but you sure did communicate! 

You were definitely a Ute fan. And. they beat BYU in football every time they met except once during your lifetime. When watching a BYU basketball game, it came down the the last buzzer and BYU pulled it off! (I can't remember who they were playing but it wasn't the U.) Your brothers were all hooping and hollering and you got excited too! Andrew looked at you and said, "You do realize that's BYU and not the U, right?" And you stopped cold and gave him the biggest stink eye. 

Oh my boy, you laughed a lot and you were happy, but I don't think many people realized you weren't just laughing to laugh. You had a snarky sense of humor. It will be so fun to get you together with your brothers in the next life and watch the shenanigans, 'cause I'm sure there will be some. 

Aaron, most of the time I do okay. I mean, you're free. How can I begrudge you the release from your frail body? But nights are still hard. I cleaned out your dresser and wardrobe yesterday and it was tender but okay for the most part. Then I found the hospital gown you wore last. That was all right, too, until I held it to my nose. 

It smells like you, still.  

When you passed, I dressed you in your shirt that says, "You are loved" but I worried that it might get lost between the hospital and mortuary so we took it off before we left. But I couldn't leave you without clothes on, so I went one last time to the cupboard where the hospital gowns are and chose the brightest one I could find for you. And it was still on you when we went to dress you for your services. 

Oh my baby... 

I still wake between 1:30 and 2 am each night thinking about you. It's quiet and dark, and I no longer sleep in my office.  Your dresser is going downstairs for your new nephew who will be joining the family in the next week or so. 

Are you playing with him and your other nephew coming a few months later? Are you exchanging notes and ideas? Do you and they know how much we love you all? Do you get to bring them to their mamas? 

My little man, tomorrow school starts again, and you won't be here. 

I miss you. How does the world keep on turning without you? 

Grief is love expressed in tears. 
~Terri Guillemets

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