“Here is your little boy.” Hold onto him tightly. He is precious and yours to keep for 34 years. “
Perhaps, today I would be able to feel the weight of his nearly 8 lbs when he was placed in my arms for the first time. I might vividly sense a tickle as I recall the movement of his head from side to side on my bare chest. I’m sure his new born smell would continue to linger and cling to me.
I would still taste the richness of the chocolate frosting on my fingers as I wiped it off of his one year old face.
Instead of a frozen moment captured in a photographic glimpse, the memories of his milestones, his firsts, would be an instant recall, brought about, at my will.
Today, in my mind, the in betweens would not be measured in years but in moments, each one.
If someone had whispered a secret in my ear on April 4, 1975, I would have looked up when he called “Mommy, look at me.” Not the fourth or fifth time, he called, but the very first time.
I would have always known who he was, what he liked, how he felt, not just in the last ones of his years, but in each and every moment of all of those 34 years.
Today, this December 5, 2013, I long for my son. I want to hear his voice. I want touch his hand, I want to especially see his shy little smile. I want to talk to him. I want to listen to him.
I wish, I regret, I realize, that if I had known the secret I would have treasured each minute of every one of his 13, 393 days.
One of my favorite books, because it is told from the point of view of a mother who has lost her son, is “The Testament of Mary”, by Colm Toibin.
This quote describes how I feel most every day, but especially this day.
“But no one realized that it would be the realm of death he was destined for, that all the grace and beauty of his aura of specialness, like a gift from the gods to his parents and his sisters, that all of it was a grim joke, like being teased by the smell of delicious food or the possibility of plenty, when it was only something passing by destined for elsewhere. “