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     Tonight my husband took the kids. I think he knew that I needed a break. I think he knew this because when he came home last night, I handed him the crying baby and yelled, "I NEED A BREAK!" A clever man, my husband.
     In the first thirty minutes of my freedom, I ran around and flitted from chore to chore. I washed the lid to the garbage can. I cleaned a spot on the carpet. I dusted the stairs. Feeling rather unfulfilled, I quickly gave up on my "cleaning spree". I had put off the sad things long enough. It was time to work on the music for my grandpa's memorial service. Rather, it was time to finally take the quiet moments alone I've needed for over a week to grieve his passing. That's the thing with having children. There's usually not time to do the healthy things, like grieve. Or exercise. Or sleep.
     It struck me as odd that I had to schedule in my tears. But then again, I have to schedule in bathroom breaks and boom boom time with Hubby, so I suppose scheduling in tears is inevitable. So, I sat at my piano, staring blankly at the words I'm supposed to sing, the notes I'm supposed to play. I allowed sadness to sit next to me as we sang a mournful duet. I felt the hard feelings and then left them on the piano keys.
     Allowing myself to feel things for more than a few minutes always brings my heart back to Isaac. Sometimes it seems that all things bring my heart back to my little boy. And when I look at my wall of pictures, I feel all the hard feelings all over again. Every day. And it makes me think to myself, Will there ever be a day when I don't have to be so brave, when loss isn't part of my every breath? 
     I was talking to my mom on the phone earlier this afternoon. We were talking about the memorial service and how my aunt was traveling all the way from Florida to be there to remember her father. My mom was telling me how excited my aunt is to see her daughter. In fact, my aunt said that she missed her daughter so much that she actually craved the times her daughter woke her up in the middle of the night, just to talk.
     At this, I guffawed out loud. Because in my life right now, sleep is more precious than food, and it's darn near close to water! If someone wakes me up, there better be severed limbs and blood. In fact, my big kids know better than to knock on my door in the middle of the night unless things are coming out of them. That's why I go straight for the bucket and mop each time I hear the faint tap! tap! on my door. If it's not puke, pee, or blood, it'll wait until the sun is up above the trees. Sure, I'll listen to your dream.... if you can remember it 6 hours from now. And feel free to tell me that the train woke you up last night. As long as you're not waking me up to tell me. And God help the child that shuts the bathroom door too loudly at 2 a.m. and wakes up a baby! (Or if your husband farts a fart that feels like an earthquake and wakes the baby through two closed doors..... Seriously, change your diet or move out. I don't care which, but ain't nobody got time for that!)
     After hearing my hearty laughter, my mom went on to explain that it was all about perspective. She said that as children grow and get closer to leaving the nest, a mother's perspective changes. She's long past the days of midnight feedings and changing wet sheets. She's almost hoping that her babies still need her enough, want her enough, to knock on her door in the dark hours. Sleep is no longer the biggest need, as it is replaced by the need to still be needed.
     I thought about this perspective change long after our conversation had ended. I thought about it as I stared at my wall of pictures and as I snuggled my sad self up against Isaac's pillow. Will there ever be a day when I don't feel this pain in my heart? Probably not. I can't imagine ever going a day without missing the loved ones I've lost. But perhaps, in this too, there will be a change in perspective some day. Maybe just as a mother's need for sleep changes, perhaps my need to have my little boy in my arms will change. Not go away. Never go away. But change. Somehow.
     In losing my grandpa, I'm able to see the end. He needed to pass on, to leave his illness behind and to meet up with his true love in heaven. It's a loss that I can feel painfully, but one that I can understand. However, Isaac's loss is still a mystery and is, therefore, still so hard to accept. I don't see the end. I don't know the whys and the why nots. My perspective is still so limited - so circumstantial.
     One day.... one day I'll know the answers and see the end. It'll all make sense and I'll be able to breathe a big breath that doesn't require an ounce of courage. Until then, I plan to keep feeling the hard feelings. After all, I'm not the only one. God feels them, Hubby feels them, my family feels them, my friends feel them, and you other Mamas and Dads out there feel them. We all have loss and need to be brave. Thank you for feeling with me and reminding me that I'm not alone.
     

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