As I sit here, trying to think of a way to compose all of the thoughts floating around in my head, I am reminded of the many nights either Jesse or I would get back from the NICU at midnight, then sit down in the library of the Ronald McDonald house and update Gabe's blog. Back then, it was just a part of life. We had to keep all of Bubba's adoring fans up to date. Shortly after Gabe passed, we stopped blogging. Lately I've been thinking it would be good (for me) to start blogging again. Even though we are no longer on Gabe's journey, Jesse and I (all of us for that matter) are now on a journey of our own. After a hard day battling for my son's life, I always felt better after blogging. Every day is a hard day now, so why not try blogging again?
I know no other way to describe the grieving process, then to refer to it as a journey, because that is exactly what it feels like. Trying to figure out how to navigate life after the loss of one of the loves of my life, is complicated. There is a constant swirl of thoughts and emotions twisting through my head. At the same time I have a 3-1/2 year old who needs her mom; a house that has yet to figure out how to take care of itself; bills that must be paid; meals that must be made, and oh yeah, I'm a wife too. What used to seem like a simple balancing act, is no longer. I like to say that I'm "ok," that I'm moving forward and dealing with the death of my son, but I'm not, and it's taken me almost 9 months to admit this to myself. Now comes the task of allowing myself to be a mess, to not be "ok," to ask for help so that I can take care of myself. I prefer to be the one taking care of others, so this is not easy for me.
I will be forever grateful for those closest to me; those who stood by my side on the battle field; and those who stand by me now. I know that I am not the same mom, wife, daughter, friend, person, I was before Gabe came into our lives. I know that with time, parts of me will heal and return, and I also know there are parts of me that will never be the same again. No matter how much time passes, or how many professionals (I keep forgetting to make an appointment with a therapist) I speak with, there will always be a piece of my heart missing. When Gabe left this earth, he took a piece of me with him. I can feel the hole in my heart all the way into the deepest depths of my soul.
As much as it sometimes stings, I will take the pain. I would rather be "broken" (as I feel I am now) than to have never known my beautiful Angel Gabriel. I don't know if he was sent here to teach us, or to learn from us? Perhaps it's a bit of both, but no matter what the reason, I thank God everyday for choosing us as "mom" and "dad." The lessons I learned from my son, will never be forgotten. How one little boy, bound to a bed by tubes and wires, could touch me and so many others so deeply, is beyond me. When I think of the pain my baby endured during his battle; when I think of the hurtles Gabe had to jump over just to make it another minute, hour, day...I am forever humbled. His strength is inspiring, and will live on within me forever.
Breathe in...breathe out...one foot in front of the other...one day at a time...