12 Months in Heaven
My sweet Toby,
I have dreaded this day. I have tried for a month to get my thoughts together for this day, but every time I’ve sat down to write, only tears come. It isn’t writers block. It’s grief. It’s anger. It’s rage. It’s absolute heartbreak.
I sat on the back porch last weekend. The sun felt different. The smell of the air gave me chills. There was silence.
I was immediately taken back to the morning of August 25. We hadn’t slept. It stormed that night and I kept going up to check on Luke and then I’d walk to your room, not able to breathe, as I looked at your crib. You weren’t there. Your things were everywhere, but you weren’t.
I sat on the deck, around 6 am, staring into the yard. Murray sat right next to me. He knew.
Later that morning I was sitting at the patio table. It was so quiet. It was never that quiet in our neighborhood, but yet, I heard nothing. The world had gone silent. Our world.
I heard the front door open and then the door to the deck. I looked up at the steps and Uncle Matt stood there. He shook his head looking at me and said “Too quiet here to be alone.” I cried.
I don’t want to be alone, without you. I don’t want to go for a run, without you. I don’t want Daddy to hold Luke’s hand and not be holding you in his other arm. I don’t want Luke to play without you. I don’t want to wake up in the morning and not see your smiling face. I don’t want Luke to count “Mommy and Daddy. Murray and Theo. Lucas and Toby.” and you not be here.
I have searched, for 364 days, for answers. I have searched for a reason. I have searched for any possible sign in my life, in my faith, as to why God could have possibly needed you more; I cannot find one.
Today I pray that your angels will shelter you from the tears that will fall minute by minute. I pray that you will feel all the love for you, my beautiful boy and that you, without a doubt, know that we would NOT change one minute, one hour, one day – not one second of time that you were in our life.
I pray that you see that everything that Daddy and I do is for you and Luke. Every time we speak your name, Toby, we do it with love and pride because you are our son and your legacy, your story, your joy has touched the lives of so many, in such a short time. I am not perfect. I have not been able to surrender to ‘having no control.’ I carry anger and sadness with me. I pray that you will help me, lessen the grip on those emotions, and hold tight to the joy and memories of the time we had with you.
…”I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”
I love you, Toby.