When Shawn came in at 2:00pm I gave him a quick kiss and headed out to meet up with a friend. Usually this would be cause for excitement, some time away with a few girl friends while Shawn stayed at home with Brooklyn and Whitney.
I met up with two of my friends and together we went to a wake.
As we walked into the funeral home the first thing that I saw was a Dora book, and next to that a toy tractor. Instantly my heart started to race, I could feel my hands start to shake and a lump formed in my throat.
Then it really, really hit me: I am at the wake of a 19-month-old baby. A baby. The books and toys weren't there for children to play with... they were his toys... his books...
After signing the guest book we walked around the corner where the casket was, and in front of that the little boys Mother and Father. As I waited my turn to see them I felt the tears fill my eyes and run down my cheeks and before I knew it I was standing in front of the parents of a sweet little boy that was taken away far too soon. A flood of emotions filled me as I hugged his mother, and then his father. Saying 'I'm so sorry' and 'I'm here if you need anything' seemed so little, so insignificant. What I really wanted to do was leave, run, get out of there as fast as I could and find some way to fix all this, to bring back their little boy.
Dammit, this just isn't fair.
Being a Mother myself I can not even begin to imagine what terrible pain she is going through, and will continue to go through as the days, weeks, months and years pass. All I can do is pray. The night I found out this little boy had passed I prayed for his families strength, and although it will never go away I prayed that little-by-little their pain might ease over time.
This was not my first wake. But the ones I have been to have been for the elderly, the ones that have lived long, full lives. Ones filled with children, and grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. Today is not how it's supposed to be, it's not supposed to happen this way.
I'd be lying if I didn't leave the funeral home feeling guilty. Guilty because I knew that that night I'd be able to sit down to dinner with my family, to do bath time and kiss our girls goodnight after singing Twinkle, Twinkle. Meanwhile another family just minutes down the road was changed forever.
So I prayed some more. And I'm not the overly religious type so I'm pretty sure God was surprised to hear from me so much in just one afternoon. And then I wrote this, I find writing to be an outlet. A way to work through things.
Before I finish this post I want to leave you with this, it was the poem on the card at the funeral home:
I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an Afterglow of smiles when the day is done.
I'd like to leave an echo...
Whispering softly down the ways,
of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun,
of happy memories that I leave behind me when day is done.
Rest in peace, sweet angel.