There are certain things you take for granted. Not on purpose. But just because they are so simple. So small. Like hearing your child’s name. You probably say it yourself at least a million times a day.
But when your baby dies. Well. You realize there may come a day when no one but you mentions their name. It almost seems like an impending second death. The day her name is said for the last time by each person. My eyes well up with tears at the mere thought of it.
Fortunately, I don’t see that day in our near future…and hopefully it is a fear that wont come to fruition.
All of that leads me to a tender moment I got to experience the other day. I was at my inlaws and as usual Jaxon was being his regular rambunctious self…. toddling everywhere, picking everything up, throwing things across the room (everything, to him, is a ball!).
He made his way to the entertainment stand which holds a few pictures.
Pausing the story to interject- I’m constantly in awe at the grace with which my mother in law has handled Gracelyn’s death. She continues to make a place for her. In her heart. In their home. In our conversations. and it has truly been a gift to me.
At the entertainment stand James (Chris’ dad) was quickly beside him. I assume to keep him from knocking over their new tv ;). But as he did that Jaxon picked up one of the pictures.
James says ‘there’s mommy and daddy’
Onto the next- ‘there’s Jaxon’
And suddenly my heart froze for a second. I realized in that second that I haven’t heard James say her name, maybe ever but definitely not in the past year. It’s not that he doesn’t love her, or care. I know, without a shadow of doubt, that he does. But he’s a pretty reserved guy and baring emotions isn’t something we often do together.
A whirlwind of thoughts attacked me and I prayed over and over… please don’t let him skip her. Please say her name. Please don’t pretend she isn’t there.
and then he said it ‘and there’s Gracelyn. and a red bird’
Just like that. ‘There’s mommy and daddy, there’s Jaxon, there’s Gracelyn, and a red bird’ He included her as naturally as every other member of our family as casually as a red bird and as clearly as he mentioned each of our names. and I immediately got teary eyed.
To you it might be silly.
But to me….a weight shifted and my load became a bit lighter, more bearable.
I realized again that I’m not carrying this heavy burden alone. That our family is stepping up to the plate to make sure she isn’t forgotten. That Jaxon will know her name. He will know that a baby came before him. That his sister is real. That people die but they still shape us and that alone is significant and should be remembered and said aloud.
And again I’m so grateful.
They say it takes a village….well I believe I’ve got the very best one.