It’s been three years. How has it been three years?
This last year has been a year of healing for me it seems. I’ve adjusted a bit more to Lucas growing older, smarter and continuing to be a great big brother. Being super involved in PTA at school has been a great distraction, along with more playdates with Claudia (especially Friday lunch/grocery shopping trips with a cookie).
I’ve slowly come to terms with my high anxiety and (at times) severe depression. I’ve always had a tendency towards them both, but the grief and stress exacerbated the conditions. Gradually, I’m seeing I am not invincible. I’m human, and that’s ok.
In the process of coming to terms with everything, joy has started to seep back in. On May 1st, we took a spontaneous trip to Branson. It was very similar to our last trip we took with Logan. Lunch at the Branson Landing, fun at the Fish Hatchery and visiting the shore of Table Rock Lake to throw some rocks. It was Claudia’s first time being able to participate at the Fish Hatchery and she loved it. The fish were fascinating to her as they splashed, fighting for the food she was throwing. I was reminded of the beautiful sunny day with Logan and throwing food to the fish. So much joy was had that day 3 years ago, and I felt the same joy once again. Something I never thought was possible.
Grief has taken a turn from anger to apologetic. Maybe they are one in the same though. It’s a crazy roller coaster ride. Grief never ends; it just changes. Not a sign of weakness, but rather the price of true, pure love.
I’m sorry you got the short end of the stick in life. I’m sorry you never felt the sensation of rolling, crawling, walking, running or climbing. I’m sorry you won’t see your 4th birthday this year. It was my favorite year with your brother Lucas. He really enjoyed going out and doing things. Plus, he was tall enough to ride some of the rides at Silver Dollar City! I was really looking forward to pictures of you and Lucas on the small roller coaster or the tea cups. I’m sorry you never met the orneriness known as Claudia. We probably would have had to have two TV’s set up for you two to get along. Daniel Tiger and Little Einstein’s going 24/7. For as snugly and cuddly as you were, Claudia is strong and independent.
What was given to you was an injustice. It’s not fair. To any of us. Its infuriating, heart breaking and devastating. However, you handled it all with grace, laughter, and tenacity. The muscle weakness didn’t stop your smile. It didn’t stop your love for Little Einstein’s or trains. It didn’t stop you from holding my hand during the happy times or the most trying and difficult times. Spinal Muscular Atrophy didn’t define you. Even though you were so young, so underserving of this condition, it never stopped you from loving life.
And with your joyful spirit on my mind, I too will never stop: Loving you. Missing you. Fighting for you.
Until we meet again…