I remember how good you were with your baby sister, Ella. Initially, you were the only one I really trusted with holding her without me right there. Of course, that resulted in you dropping her when she was about three months old. I’ll never forget that. We were getting ready to drive a couple hours away to visit our dear friends, the Bensons, for the day. I was getting ready in the living room while you held Ella in my bedroom. I heard a loud bang and then those tiny tears of a new baby. You came out with a look of horror on your face. You cried, “I dropped her!” and you were so scared. Thankfully, we still had carpet in the bedroom in which she fell. She had just started to do that thing where she’d throw herself back. I had warned you about that just a few days earlier. For once, I was very calm and rational. I didn’t get angry with you. I comforted you and told you it was ok. I called the doctor to make sure I was right to not be overly concerned. They reassured me, then I reassured you.
Eventually, she was bigger and loved for you to play with her. You were the one begging me to let you take her in the backyard and put her on the swing. You were the one asking if you could take her for a walk in the neighborhood in her stroller.
As we sat in church today, I was thinking about how much easier life was when you were five. I had no idea it was “easy” then. I had three small children (1, 3, and 5) and was pregnant with number 4. But it was easy. Life was all about love and caring and happiness. All I had to do was nurture you children. I didn’t have this big cloud of grief hanging over me. I didn’t have a dead son. I didn’t have a living teenage son who likes to battle every day. I could sit in church with you, and the rest of the kids, and honestly tell you to love Jesus because he was good to us. Today, I said to Ella, watch the priest and listen to all the good things about Jesus. And in my head I thought, “If only I believed that.”
BTW, I believe the “Featured Image” of you and Ella looking at the camera is the last photograph of the two of you together. I had no idea you were dying before my very eyes.