We had a very short window of opportunity for this trip as Reese has had baseball games nearly every other day or two this past week/weekend. So we got to the cemetery Sunday. It was a very different feeling traveling this time. First and foremost, I had my baby in the car seat this time. The car seat that for so long, hadn't been used. I remembered two years prior, instead of that car seat, we had a casket in our Sequoia. A casket with the body of one of our children. That was a feeling that nearly sent me over the edge. I couldn't think about it during that 7 hour drive, or I could feel myself losing my mind. But it was hard not to. I thank Chase for carrying me through those days mostly. Giving me the grace to handle all of that. It hurts to remember...it always will.
I remember buying flowers last year to take to the grave. We all agreed on an arrangement and I remember wondering if the checker would ever guess in a million years what we were buying these flowers for as she commented on how pretty they were. This year, they each picked out their own arrangement, and I still wondered....and it still hurts. I will never get used to that feeling. And I still feel like teetering on the edge of sanity when I buy those flowers for my sweet boy. It's a very surreal feeling.
Owen slept nearly the entire three hour drive Sunday morning to the cemetery. Leaving me to myself for the ride....again, remembering last year and the sadness of the drive. Having my rainbow in my arms this year definitely helped me, somewhat through distracting me, somewhat as a physical comfort. When we got to the cemetery, I woke him up because I wanted to take pictures. And he cried. The entire stay. It was terribly windy outside and I know he didn't like it. But it really infringed on our visit. We all had our time at the grave and said our prayers and did what we needed to do. But with Owen crying, it certainly wasn't as peaceful as the trip was last year. To make matters worse, I looked up in the sky and found not a single cloud. I looked all around me....searching.....but I didn't see him. I didn't feel him. As hard as I tried, I felt so abandoned. I couldn't find any sign of my baby boy. I felt guilty having Owen in my arms.... and I couldn't comfort Owen at all, either. So I didn't get to be alone with Patric much at all. Everything was just all wrong. My other kids looked so grown up next his grave this year. They were so little when I remember them at the burial. It makes me so sad to see them sad and to know how their brother's death has changed them. It was time to leave and of course Owen calms down right away. But I was so sad because I couldn't feel Chase around me. I wondered if God was mad at me and wasn't going to let me feel my baby's presence anymore. This made me more sad.
After a while of silence in the car and once the kids started watching their movie again, I told Patric how I felt, all the while crying. I mean, why would I expect to feel Chase there at his grave, 7 hours away from where he always is. He's with us everywhere we go every day. Why do we need to go all this way to visit him on his birthday/death day? Of course, how could we not visit his grave is also the question. I was so confused....and then....all of a sudden Patric turned up the radio. And we heard it. Sarah was singing Angel. And I felt him. It was like Chase was telling me at that moment, "It's okay, Mom. You're exactly right, I'm not there at that cemetery. That's just my body. I'm with you guys all the time. See, I'm right here." And for as long as the song played, I closed my eyes and felt my baby boy. Thankful for his presence. And after that I was okay. Because I knew he wanted me to be okay.
As a babyloss mom, we are always searching for signs. Some may call them coincidences or just luck. But as a babyloss mom, I'll take what I can get. And I got it yesterday.....I miss you baby boy. I will never stop loving you and I will never stop thinking of you. Sweet dreams, little man. Godspeed.