I lay on the edge of my bed, staring out my window. For two months, nights have left me staring out that window at Mattias’ car, sitting at the bottom of the hill where he left it the last time he played with it. My older children used to push him in that car and when they tired of dragging it back up the hill, he would just sit in it, so happy to be outside. So happy to be alive.
But someone finally moved the car so I stare at bare ground with patches of snow clinging to the grass. He is gone. His toys have been put away, his clothes packed away. His messes have been cleaned up and he isn’t here to drag it all out again tomorrow.
His car is gone and I can scarcely breathe.
I stare out the window and think of the order form for ducks that lay on my desk for weeks. With Mattias in my lap, I researched breeds and housing and duck care. With Mattias’ joyful exclamations of “Chickie chickie!” I had filled out the order form. With Mattias’ absence heavy on my heart, I had pushed the form aside and left it to sit on the desk for weeks. One day, my husband folded it up, added a check and sent it off.
So I think how much Mattias would have enjoyed ducklings and let my pillow catch the tears.
It is so hard to look to the future and see all the plans we have made begin to unfold. We’ve ordered chicks and ducklings and guinea fowl and fruit trees. We have a shelf full of seedlings waiting for spring. We have remodeling projects and a playground to build.
All of these plans were laid with Mattias in mind. But now the future is clouded by the hole there where he should be, at my side, growing up in this country air and open space we sought to raise our children in.
I stare out the window at the empty space and for a moment, the emptiness seems to stretch on forever. It crosses my mind to just go out and get his car. To put it back where it doesn’t belong so that at the end of the day, when the house is still, I can stare out at it through my tears.
But then I look past the place where the car had been to the space just beyond. A great deal of planning has gone into this stretch of property as well, and all of it with little Mattias in mind. My children have a stack of rolled up drawings depicting their dreams for the future. This is where we’re putting their memorial playground with its sandbox and stage, swings and a slide, sunflower house and talking flowers.
I stare out the window at this space where my children have planned a future of joy and laughter in memory of their little brother and that future doesn’t seem quite so dim.