Saturday, November 18, 2023

My Angel Baby Brings Resolve

 We're walking along a beach, and I find myself holding his hand even though we haven't seen each other in years. “I've dreamed about this," I say, tears in my eyes.

“So have I."

We continue like this for miles with bits of sand gathering between my toes. It’s so chilly then that I use my free hand to pull a shawl closer to my shoulders. I should fasten it with both hands, but I'd rather die than lose contact with him now.

After a time, we both turn to the sunset. “Once,” I say, “when I was very young, I said a prayer."

He smiles. “And what did you pray?"

“For God to give me a sign that He still loved me."

“Did you doubt His love that much?” he asks.

 “I guess I did." I pause, wondering over the small moments that make up our lives. “I expected something huge to happen after I prayed, but almost the entire day passed without anything. Finally, I knelt next to a rock and cried, begging God for an answer.” I took a big breath, just remembering the power of the moment. “I didn't hear His voice at first because it felt… like silence. Then, after a long while, I looked at the sunset. The clouds stretched orange—my favorite color.” 

“And you knew God loved you because of the orange sky?” He still gently holds my hand as he looks down at me. “You thought He answered your prayer?"

“I knew He answered it. I realized how He painted the sky for me—for each of us—every single day. His love shines everywhere, through almost everything."

“And that's what you hold onto whenever bad things happen?” He studies a shell by our feet, and I don't say a word. “You remembered that, even when I died?”

I don't want to talk about his death, not when he's standing beside me. I need to answer his question though; he deserves the truth. "Not at first, but yes. I remembered that sky. I couldn't lose sight of His answer to my prayer or the gifts God has given me each day of my life."

Zeke—MY son—just nods. I can tell he's thinking hard about something before he breaks the silence. “I'm glad God picked you to be my mom."

His words hit me like a hot iron, shaking the core of my being; they're something I always longed for and never thought I'd hear, even in my dreams.

“But we’ll see each other again," he continues. “Orange is my favorite color now, too, a reminder…”

Tears fill my eyes. He's so strong and healthy, much different from the infant who died after two and a half months in the hospital. 

He did love me. He WAS proud, although I had to take him off of life support. I remember how hard he fought to live, even as he took his last breath in my arms. 

“I'm so proud you're my son. You never gave up on life. You never would have given up on me." I try acting brave in that moment, so my pain, guilt, and regrets can't hurt him. "I've done everything I can so people will know you; your life won't be forgotten." 

My eyes close and a deep part of me starts fading. A heart once full, seems a bit empty, and my fingers close on themselves because HE is no longer holding my hand. 

I breathe slowly. It's okay, though. Peace remains because the warmth of his touch stays on my skin like perfume, and somehow it will never leave. "Please know I won't forget you," my voice drifts away just like my son did. 

When I’m just about to leave, I feel something. It’s just a nudge at first, then a word surfaces through the silence: “Look."

My eyes turn toward the sunset. Those colors wrap around me, giving me new reasons to live. I no longer simply long for eternity because I realize the truth in its meaning: Eternity is part of right now.

My spirit wakes up with an unflappable resolve. Someday we'll see each other again, someday beneath a golden sky.


Happy 21st birthday Zeke. You are not forgotten.

To learn more about my oldest son and his story, you can find that memoir here:

1 comment:

  1. Sorry for your loss of your baby Zeke 🥰