It has hit me really hard these past few days. This season, in stark contrast to the winter season in which Zachary lived his entire life and then died, seems to have slammed the door on my baby boy's existence. Birds cheerfully announce the arrival of each new morning. The days are long and warm, allowing for more activity, fueling the expectation that we'll do something "fun", or at a minimum, something productive. Storms roll through, and despite their violence, coax each living thing to grow, flower and produce. The patio door is opened and shut a hundred times each day, as C.T.'s friends, and his growing independence, beckon him to play and explore outdoors. Playgrounds, beaches, zoos, pools and parks are filled with happy mommies and children. Parties and barbeques abound - everyone eager to soak up every bit of summer break.
Zachary is dead. No matter. Get up, get going and enjoy your summer.
The truth is, I just can't do it. I get dressed, I feed my family, I spend quality time with C.T. and our household runs smoothly, to some extent. But, I can't pretend that summer has lightened the crushing weight of Zachary's death or lifted my spirits out of the depths of grief. He is still dead, and I am still his loving and deeply bereaved mother. It has only been five months and I miss him terribly.
A couple of nights ago, as I was laying with C.T., doing the bedtime routine, he says...
Mama, you see this space between us? I'm pretending that Zachy is laying here with us. I would keep him from falling off the bed on this side and you would keep him from falling off on that side. He would really like to be between us, don't you think?
I sigh and assure C.T. that Zachary would have loved to be involved in the bedtime routine. That it would have been wonderful for all of us.
The three of us are right back to where we were at the beginning of last summer, except that there is no hope for Zachary. There is no more Zachary. There is only the loving and the missing and the mourning what should have been. It's just the three of us again, this summer, and although I'm thankful to have B and C.T., it still feels completely wrong that Zachary is not here too.