Sitting next to Micah, I watch him play. Left arm stretches, little fist in a ball. Right arm tucks in, fist in a ball. Little legs scrunch up to his tummy then he gives a mighty little kick. That surprises him and he looks for a moment like he might cry before he sticks out his tongue and gets distracted by a lock of my hair.
Then he flashes that smile. He really only started smiling the week before the accident. Big, beautiful, full body smiles that could make anyone smile back.
(The day after it happened, I sat holding him while tears streamed. He seemed so far away as he wiggled and stretched until he caught my eyes and he flashed that smile. It was like a single ray of sunshine beaming through the tempest in my soul. And even through tears, I smiled back.)
“I want to remember this,” I think to myself.
(Everything is in a fog. Nothing seems quite real. My thoughts are clouded, I can’t remember what I’m doing from one moment to the next and the simplest decisions overwhelm me. I remember bits and pieces from last week, but most of it is a blur.)
But babies grow quickly. And this I want to remember. So I sketch him out in my thoughts, look over every feature, close my eyes to recall his little face.
I smile. The small joy of playing with my baby pierces through the fog and the numbness. But that lets through the pain and my eyes begin to sting.
“Oh, Micah,” I say as I pick him up. “I hope I can still be a good mommy to you.”
“You are a good mommy!”
I hear the children say, almost in unison. My son sounds indignant, as if I insulted him personally. The tears begin to fall.
(Everyone says it gets easier. That time heals all wounds. That you learn how to move on. But when I hear these words, my heart says, “No.” Not that I don’t believe them. I do. But I don’t want it to get easier. I don’t want to move on. It doesn’t seem possible to simply go forward and leave my son behind. To allow the wounds to heal when his took his life.)
“I used to dance and sing and laugh with all of you. I just want the same for Micah.”
And I do. So I dry my tears, kiss his cheeks and hold his little hand. I still don’t know how to move forward from here . . . to laugh and dance and sing . . . but we still love. And for now, I cling to 1 Peter 4:8.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.