...eight million back.
Or so it seems.
I've known a good cry was coming any day now. It's been at the surface for several weeks, with the move coming and so many things changing so quickly without giving me much time to breathe. I'll have little cries here and there...in the car over a song (lately, Laura Story's "Blessings" comes on often and tears me up every.single.time.), or going through a bin of clothes that were Matthew's 6-9 months, or finding my journal of his pregnancy and remembering never being happier in my life than I was while pregnant with him.
Little cries as I realize that when we move, we leave the only home Matthew ever knew. The only place that was his. His room. His garden. His woods.
All his memories.
I know we'll be back.
It's just hard to leave. Harder to leave knowing that we are going to an environment that isn't Matthew's, but will be Luke's. I don't even know how to word that. At least here, nothing Luke can or will do is without Matthew as a small part...whether it's sleeping in his room with his furniture or one day playing on the zipline that John swears he is going to build in the backyard--I can still have my little piece of Matthew in all that his brother does.
Not in North Carolina. It will be all new...well, at least to Luke.
And without Matthew.
Before anybody starts preaching to me about how Luke cannot possibly be responsible for 'keeping his brother living,' please know that I realize that. I, more than anyone, want to make sure that Luke never, never lives in the shadow of his brother--but as an equally, though obviously differently loved little boy of mine. It sort of even gets at me when people note how much Luke looks like Matthew, and how great that must be for me because now I can have Matthew in Luke.
Nope, not really.
I want Matthew in Matthew.
Luke in Luke.
Separate, but both.
My heart just hurts so much right now. I'm sure that my emotions are exaggerated by the stress of getting ready to move with a lot of uncertainties up ahead, but today, and lately, my heart has been so, so heavy.
Heavy for other mothers I know (and some I don't, just know of) who have lost babies.
Heavy for Luke never getting to know his big brother, and probably never having a little brother or sister either.
Heavy for how I just cannot believe that 18 months have passed, and yet they seem to have literally flown.
When days dragged, and they did, cumulatively, they still just flew by. Now they don't drag and they fly even more quickly.
And every day, more of my life goes on, in what would 'seem' to be a pretty normally way (to someone who didn't know better), and it goes on without Matthew.
I couldn't even remember what his room looked like last night, because Luke's is so familiar and used to me. I had to look at pictures for the details I'd forgotten.
Ihad phantom kicks for months after Matthew was born...even in the early stages of Luke's pregnancy, when I *knew* it wasn't Luke.
I haven't had a single phantom kick in 5 months.
That's right...tomorrow, my Luke is 5 months old.
My prayer, every night, is that I am able to love him and raise him until my last breath.
I pray he has to bury John and me.
Because I'll be very honest...my heart aches so much right now missing Matthew, and it's been 18 months. It's like that can't-breathe-because-my-nose-is-so-stuffy-from-crying-so-much aching.
I know if something happened to Luke, I'd survive. Simply breathing every day as I have in the last 18 months is proof of that.
I just don't think I'd want to.
Missing my Matthew. Sometimes, Luke will look at me in a sweet, quiet little way and just smile with the most amazing smile. He looks right into my eyes, softly lifts his little hand to my face and sort of feels around and just smiles like I am the most amazing thing in the entire world. Like he *knows* my whole world revolves around him.
It's precious. John says Luke sure does make it easy to feel good about being his parents because he always (except for nights, lately, but that's another story!) seems to look at us with these looks that just ooze his love and gratitude. There's no doubt he knows we love him, and he loves us.
I just wish I'd had that with Matthew. Even if I didn't get to keep him...just to have that assurance that he knew how much he was loved.
He is so, so loved.