Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Today I was feeling overwhelmed. So much is up in the air for our family right now and - as a self-proclaimed planner - I don't function well in limbo mode. After a busy morning of tennis and harp lessons, the kids went to help grandma in her garden for a few hours. Thus I had a few hours of Solo Time. "Time to start packing," I thought. But my Heart just didn't feel up to it.
So I decided to have a Picnic with my Boy.
Now, if Bennett were here, he'd want to go to our favorite sandwich shop and share a sandwich with Mommy, munch on Cheetos, nibble on a decadent cookie and sip from Mommy's Diet Dr. Pepper. So, in honor of him (and because my tummy felt like it), I followed suit (minus the Cheetos and cookie).
As I drove the familiar route to the cemetery, my mind wandered. I thought of all the change that is brewing in our family. The loss of a child, the selling of our home, changing schools for the kids, a new neighborhood and a new congregation at church. Whew. The thought of it all just sucks the oxygen from my lungs.
As I drove up the hill to his lovely memorial encased in a grove of trees, I noticed that the city maintenance crews had removed the Memorial Day flowers. Part of me was sad because each of those flowers represented the fact that someone had remembered my boy. Someone more than our little family. And that is HUGE to this Mother Heart who feels like the World is moving on.
After taking off my shoes and walking barefoot across the lush grass to his memorial, I grabbed the wipes and began my cleaning ritual. I cleared the memorial of all leaves and flower petals, pulled the grass back from the granite and began polishing the beautifully beveled stone. With each stroke, my heart beat within my chest. This is your babe. This is your son. This is your Sunshine Boy. Tears began to collect in the corners of my eyes and gently spill down my cheek. The same cheeks that Bennett would smother with kisses just a mere four months ago. Somehow it feels like yesterday and forever ago all at once. I just can't explain it.
But as I knelt there, cleaning my baby's headstone, I thought how grateful I am for the opportunity I have (present tense) to be this amazing human being's Mother. Bennett captures the essence of Light, Love and Hope. His influence has been vast and far stretching and - in many ways - his mission is bigger than us all. What a privilege to be a part of his journey. Be it short or prolonged.
As I finished cleaning Bennett's stone and reading the messages left in his memorial guestbook (best. gift. ever.), I sat quietly, took in the summer breeze and ate my sandwich. I wasn't alone. I could feel it. And somehow, I wouldn't be surprised if Bennett was running all around me, playing hide-and-go seek behind the trees and memorials with his Mommy.
I wouldn't have it any other way.