Happy Six Months, Toby!

I can’t believe Toby was six months yesterday. I must have closed my eyes a dozen times, trying to imagine what he would look like now. I wish I knew what he would have liked right now. I watched our nieces over the Thanksgiving holiday and kept thinking, “He should be right here on the floor. Exploring. Laughing. Watching all of them.”  I know he would be smiling and laughing. He was the happiest baby – with the best hair.

Church is especially hard for Dan and me. Some days, it’s where I feel closest to Toby. Others, it’s where I’m the most angry with God. As we sat through mass yesterday morning, Father announced that they were baptizing a little boy today. A few moments later his mother walked toward the back of the church, holding him in her arms in his crisp white outfit. Just like Toby. It hit me like a dagger. I glanced at Dan, his eyes welled with tears. I’ve always loved church hymns. The music is just so beautiful. Now it just makes me cry. I think Heaven always has beautiful hymns playing, not just on Sundays. I think that’s what makes me emotional, the songs, but wondering which ones Toby’s hears and enjoys. Will you like the Advent and Christmas ones as much as we do?

We decided to put our Christmas decorations up outside this afternoon. The weather was so nice and the sun was shining. Luke was running around raking leaves and climbing in the tree out front. “I’m a good raker.” “Yes you are. Good job, buddy.”  “I wonder what Toby is doing in Heaven today for his six month birthday?” I said to Luke. “Do you think he’s playing? Or sitting in his favorite chair?” … “No, he’s rakin. He’s rakin with us” Luke said. It was such a nice afternoon. Clear sky. It made me think of summer. Of all the time we spent outside with the boys. How happy all four of us were.

We just finished putting the garland on the front porch rail and plugging the lights in. I asked Luke “how does it look?” “Good” with not a pause in his step. I was looking at what else we needed to do and he walked up to the porch “Don’t you think Toby would love it?” I swear, my heart stopped. “What, buddy?” “Don’t you think Toby would love it, Mommy?” He stared at me, eyebrows raised. Dan stood in the driveway, frozen, looking at me. “Awe, Luke. Yes. I think he’d love it.”  He ran back to the yard, not a skip in his step.

That’s one of the most amazing things about all that has happened. Because he’s so little, we don’t really know what Luke knows or thinks about this life-changing situation. But I think I speak for both Dan and me, that over the past weeks, Luke has said some amazing things about Toby, both in conversations with us, and just on his own talking to Toby in the house. I truly believe Luke and Toby have a relationship far beyond what any of us can imagine. We have continued to open his door in the morning and close it at night, just like we did when he was physically here with us. Most mornings lately, someone is beating us to it. It makes my heart smile.

I want Toby to be a part of everything that we do. Keeping him a part of things, even if it seems weird or irrational to others, is what is keeping me, us, moving forward. That means talking about him. Saying his name. Each time I do it hurts, and my eyes well. But he is our child and I feel the need to be with him, even if his angel wings carry him everywhere now.

Happy six months, munchkin! I hope you did some fun things yesterday and were able to enjoy the day playing and laughing. We sure miss your smiles.


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