I miss him so badly. I look at his pictures and I feel him like I am still losing him--in a different way. I look at the pictures and I have them memorized. But as time passes, I have to try harder to see those moments in action....moving, not just still shots in my mind, but his life with us. Those moments. The tragedy. In moving, real life action. Because if I don't try to recall those things, it feels like these are just pictures. Pictures of something that happened...but no memory. I have several different snapshots of him that don't even look like the same baby. I have my favorite photo...the perfect gerber baby face, plus a few tubes and medical leads. But I also have photos of him that aren't so hot. And as my jaded memory slips further away, and I realize what really happened....I see it in these pictures. The magnitude of what happened, how he was born and how lifeless he must have looked in the isolette while the doctor and nurses were working and him. And all that can change my view of what all happened. Maybe we were unrealistically hopeful, despite those words from the doctor that echoed in my brain, "babies are remarkably resilient and often times surprise us...." And he most certainly was as healthy as an ox. That's the one thing I do know.
Almost as accurate as my internal clock is this one particular wave of grief that happens about every 30 days. Hormones, maybe, psychological, maybe. But it's that huge cloud of darkness that just looms over me and I can almost feel the weight of it, physically. So that's where I'm at. Hurting. Like it was yesterday. And no, I don't think it gets easier. I think you learn how to deal with it, yes. But the pain doesn't lessen. That's why there are graves at the cemetery with fresh flowers every week for a baby that died 50 years ago. The focus of the pain shifts from different aspects of the situations that occurred. I may be consumed with a particular moment of his life, before he was born or after, what is still to come, but it all hurts the same. None of it is ever going to change. The pain is never going to go away. I am never going to be ignorant of this feeling or free from it. And that is why learning to live this way, learning to fight the battles I must fight this way, learning to go after my goals and dreams with this in my heart is making me a much stronger person. It's like fighting a battle with one arm and winning and that's what I'm going to continue to do. That's the mom Chase would be proud of.