Friday, September 2, 2016

The tenth year apart.

My dearest little one,

It's been a decade now since you've left us.
It doesn't even seem like that could be possible.
One year for each little perfect finger, one for each tiny toe.
Could it really be so?

Photo by Rebecca 

You know how some people like to take pictures of people? And some like to photograph animals? And some like architecture or barns or symmetry? I've always liked ruins. The broken and deserted. The barely hanging on. The stories unknown. There's always something about them that makes me feel strangely welcome. Like I was meant to be there, like I belonged there. I'd beg my kids and hubby to go with me inside, and they always decline, but it's almost like they call me in like a siren of the sea. It wasn't until yesterday when a friend and I started talking about an old house that we passed, that I put it together. 

I always thought it funny how a building can be deserted and left, how quickly nature takes it back, wrapping it's green vines around it, adopting the ruins as its own.  At first, people are interested. They talk about how sad it is that this wonderful place has been left to die. Remember all the good times we had there! They watch as it crumbles. As nature pulls it closer and closer to her chest.
As years pass, fewer people notice what used to be grand and beautiful, 
and nature still, slowly calls it back home. 

And one day, mother nature, herself, bears that cross alone. No one will remember the sparkly windows or the laughter from inside that has long since gone. No one remembers, but her. And she holds those ruins inside her, and she welcomes them, even if the broken shards of windows cut her deeply, and rusty pipes poison her flesh. She keeps it.

And then I realized.

YOU are my ruins, sweet boy.
YOU were the light of our small world, the beautiful cathedral of stained glass and blessings!
And when you fell, we all fell with you. The doctors who delivered you carefully into this world, the nurses who bathed you and wrapped you, the blessed man who had to autopsy a newborn baby. The strong man who took you, wrapped lovingly in your blankets, and prepared your tiny body for us. Every ONE of those funeral homes workers that had to look us in the eyes as we asked them about arrangements for our son, who was just a baby.  The families, the friends, the enemies even. 

We ALL fell.
Some just for a moment.
Some for a lifetime.

And I always feared that one day, when all the pain was forgotten and your physical body put to rest, that you'd slowly fade away. And the world would forget this magnificent creature that they were so damn blessed to know.

And it would just be me.

Welcoming you in.
Wrapping my arms around you as the world forgets.
Like mother nature and her ruins.
Until we were one again.

I guess I was scared that would happen.
But it's been TEN years, and you're just as alive you could ever be. 
The world may think they've forgotten you, but they can't. 
Your smile smiles back in your brother's laughter, and your nose is still the spitting image of your sister's. I can still see your little toes when I look down at my longer second toe, and I still see your sweet face when I watch your daddy sleep.

I see you when I see first day of school pictures for 4th grade. I see you on the soccer fields and in the aisles at the grocery store. I see you in the fall when the leaves rain down, and I see you in the rainstorms of spring. I see you every moment of the day, because you never really left. 

Happy Birthday, Eli Marcus.
We are all so blessed to have been touched by you, even if just for a moment. 


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