August is very different this year without you. I remember going school supply shopping for you for the very first time last August. You were so excited about everything -- football practice, your 5th birthday, starting kindergarten, and even riding the bus. None of those things matter this year.
School starts on August 22nd and I have a hard time going grocery shopping right now because of all the school supplies. It's kinda silly crying over not buying school supplies, isn't it. I think most parents look forward to the day they no longer have to buy school supplies. But it's just a reminder of something else I'll never get to do with or for you again.
Another difficult thing to face right now is your upcoming birthday. I've thought about all the different things we would have done to celebrate you turning 6 on August 20th. All I know at this point is that we will be sending you a rainbow made of balloons.
Recently, I've spent a lot of time looking at pictures of you from this time last year. Now that I know what to look for, I can see the changes in you so clearly in the pictures, some as early as June. I sometimes wonder if it would have made any difference at all if we'd noticed it sooner and taken you to the doctor earlier. Then I remind myself that I can't allow myself to play the "what if" game. If I did allow it, I think I would probably fall apart.
Of course, the downside of that is that I am more hyper-vigilant with Caden now. I worry more every time he says his head or stomach hurts. I wonder if something is seriously wrong with him and I want to rush him to the doctor and beg for scans to be done. I'm so afraid that I will "blow-off" something that ends up being serious like I did with you. Usually, I manage to step back and look objectively at the situation.
The upside is that I am praying more than ever before. I trust and rely on God's word hourly. I seek His wisdom and guidance whenever I sense myself about to enter "super worry wart" mode. I know He will guide my steps and let me know what needs to be done. I have to stop second-guessing that still, small voice and know He is leading me in everything I do.
Though I cry frequently still thinking more of things that will never be, the time will come when I remember with a smile the things we did together. God's word is true. And, God has gently reminded me time and time again of His everlasting truth:
...Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Ps 30.5 NKJ)
And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4.19 AMP)
The amazing part of these verses is that it gives me comfort on two levels.
- I know that He is taking care of everything you could possibly need in Heaven. You are loved, cared for and happy. You have no more tears of pain or discomfort. Your life is eternally joyful.
- I also know that this applies to me here. God comforts me and holds me close as I mourn the loss of your physical presence. And, He sends the right people to me at just the right time with just the right thing to say or to give me a huge hug just when I need it most.
Though there are things on Earth I will never get to experience with you, I look forward to the day you can share all your experiences in Heaven with me. Earthly experiences pale in comparison to what we will have together in Heaven one day.
I miss you so very much, Caleb.You are always loved -- to infinity and beyond.