In so many ways, Camon's beautiful soul has been the balm my broken heart has needed.
I've often wished that memories were tangible... That you could play one back in real time...to absorb every touch, sound and smell just for a brief moment..
As fall arrives, I find myself often triggered back in time at the smell or sound of a memory..
Fall used to be one of my very favorite seasons. I loved everything about it. The crisp, earthy fall air. The warmth of being indoors with a hot drink and a favorite book. The food. The colors. The sense of coming together. The giggles of little kids playing in the leaves. The early, beautiful sunsets. Red, rosy cheeks...
But now, fall has changed for me.
Sometimes, when I catch the smell of sweet lavendar, with hints of orange, cinnamon, and "milk breath" ( a smell you know if you've been around babies)...I can almost feel how it was to get Adalyn ready for bed....feeling her weight in my arms, her soft locks brushing my cheek. At times when I look in at Camon sleeping, my mind flashes to Adalyn, and I'm flooded with how tender it is they both sleep in the same position. When I hear the hum of certain machines....the hum of Adalyn's oxygen machine plays in the back of my mind, and I'm back, for a brief moment, to watching her sleep in the late/early hours of the day. And if warm air crosses my face in just the right way.... It's her soft sigh I feel. When I hear David read "Freddy Works Out" to Camon, I'm back in time, watching him read it to Adalyn, doing the silly stretches.
I try my hardest to cling to those memories...because I know there are other triggers to memories that are hard to flash back to. I hear certain beeping noises....and I'm back at the hospital..staring at the monitor, both for David and Adalyn at different times....desperately aching for their oxygen saturation to increase. I hear the suction tool at the dentist and I cringe...being reminded of all the times we had to suction out our sweet girl to help her breathe better... I hear the sound of small airplanes.... and I'm reminded of that dreadful day that Adalyn took a turn for the worst and we were flown to Primary Children's.
Two years ago (still can't believe that much time has passed), fall lead to the worst time in my life. It shattered me....leaving me broken and cold to face a winter of my life that would feel relentless and unending.
Fall held devestating days. Sickness. Terror. Sleepless hospital stays...And nightmares that have since taken up permanent residence in my mind.
But two years ago, it also held moments of bliss.. Moments of watching a perfect angel sleep. It held afternoons outside. Living in our own ignorance of what was to come. It was filled with music. With tears. With laughter....and with massive diaper blow outs (seriously, once Adalyn managed to get poo clear up into her armpits and behind her neck!)
Most of all, it was filled with love. So. Much. Love. Love from family. Love from friends. Love from strangers....all for one beautiful little girl who was teaching us what love, hope and grace truly meant.
I know I must sound like a broken record at times, sharing those things... I guess the point of all this is....Fall for me has changed. When I feel the cool air, part of me still feels scared...I want to cling so very much to Camon and David.... But I don't want the hard memories of that fall to determine the here and now. Adalyn taught me that each and every day is so, so precious. The small and simple moments are truly the absolute greatest to witness... And I feel I would be doing her memory a severe injustice to spend my days in fear.
(No filter on those baby blues)
Even so, my heart is full. Full of so much love. How grateful I feel each day to have an energetic, sweet, happy boy to chase and hold. How grateful I feel for his goodness and love that seems to ooze right out of him. How grateful I am for a husband who endures some of the hardest trials, and rarely complains. How grateful I feel that he is mine...and for the way he loves me completely despite my many imperfections..
Life may not always be what we expect or want....but I'm slowly learning God holds up what we aren't able to.
Here's to fall.... To warmth. To love. And to eating all of the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!
A note to you my sweet Adalyn, I find myself smiling a lot after putting your brother to sleep. He often happily jabbers away for quite some time. I imagine that he is telling you all about his day.... He is really into pointing these days.... and sometimes, he makes Daddy walk around the living room, pointing at each picture he wants to see.
He knows you my darling. He loves you. And so do we....immensely and always.