In a drawer in my room lies my most prized possession. It rests there, sheltered and protected. My husband took it to a friend to have it prepared to display and I could hang it up . . . display it . . . share it. But it sits in a drawer, partly because I don’t have an appropriate rod and partly because I am afraid of what might happen to it.
In my lap is a little boy, just 19 months old. In two months, he will be as old as Tiggy was when he died. My chest tightens. It is hard to breathe. When I look at him, I see so many of the things my little Mattias was learning and doing and I remember how he used to give up the swing for the baby, sit next to me on the couch to pet the baby’s head and drop everything to sit down and hold the baby any time I said he could. I remember how he loved his baby brother.
I want so much for little Micah to know his big brother. To share those special moments when they seem to have their own language that overcomes Micah’s small vocabulary. To fight over toys and space and the number of times Micah knocks over a tower of blocks because he doesn’t know how else to get his brother’s attention. And my heart aches.
But Micah knows what is in that drawer, too. He knows it is something special. So when he has a chance, he goes in and opens the drawer. He takes out the treasure and opens the special pocket containing a little blue tractor. He points at the pictures and wants me to tell him what they are.
And sometimes it seems that my very soul is tearing in two, but that little smile and that little finger pointing and that little, “Eh?” hold it together just enough to allow me to smile while I share Tiggy’s stories with his little brother Micah through a blanket spread out on my bed.