As I drove through the snow-infested mountains, with the wind nearly ripping our truck from the road, I couldn't help thinking about Zeke; my son who died on Jan. 30, years ago. I shook my head telling myself to remain calm. This drive was dangerous enough, without me trying to see through tears as well.
But what happened next, surprised me.
I didn't recall all of the sad circumstances of his death. Instead, I simply remembered a specific day nearly a month before he died.
Zeke's nurse had said I could hold him in a rocking chair. Right before she was about to pass him to me, he started crying really hard. Another nurse came by and said I shouldn't hold him, that they needed to up his vent settings. But I pleaded, BEGGING them to let me hold my baby. So they handed him to me.
I rocked slowly, careful since he had so much tubing in him. And instead of crying harder like they'd thought he might, he melted into my arms, always meant to be there. I put my pinkie near his hand and he wrapped his little fingers around it, holding on so damn tight. Tears filled my eyes as I rocked him forever. And in that moment, it didn't matter how sick he was or how hard this was. We loved each other. Nothing could take that away, not time, not sickness, not death. And that moment, admist the stench of medicine and all those whirring machines...that was a perfect moment.
I could hardly believe how many years it’s been as I blinked, focusing on the road ahead. The weather began clearing a little then, and it wasn't quite so terrifying.
After we were safely home and all of the kids were in bed, I told my husband about the memory. "I can't really remember the bad parts of Zeke's life anymore, but I do remember every detail of when I held him in the rocking chair for the first time."
Mike squeezed my hand.
"It's crazy, Mike, but I feel so much peace right now. When time has passed and everything else is gone, all that remains--all that really matters--is love."
And so now when I think of Zeke, the memory of his love is in the forefront of my mind. I hope that's what he remembers about me as well....