And just like that, what started as a simple task of searching for a specific photograph ended in ripping pandora's box wide open.
Now I'm sitting here, barely able to see as I type through the tears. The endless tears. How is it possible for a human to cry this much?
My day up to this point was fairly average. My production level moderate to high. Checking off my to-do list like a boss... and then it happened. Like it always happens. Never when you are prepared for it. Never when you can plan for it. Definitely never when you have a damn kleenex (or 50) on hand.
The dreaded moment that stops you in your tracks, drops you to your knees and makes you sob those ugly cries at your desk while you pray no one else can hear you.
You never know what the trigger will be. Maybe a memory surfaces from the deepest part of your soul? Maybe a little sock magically appears in the middle of your laundry you haven't seen in over a year.
Today mine was this photograph. This absurd, silly photograph. I cannot remember the last time I saw it, I had forgotten all about it. But as soon as it met my eyes I was taken back to that moment in time over two years ago like it was yesterday.
This was the last photo I would ever take with my three. I was going to a 90's concert with the girls, reliving the good ole days with some Vanilla Ice and Salt-N-Pepa. We had these ridiculous t-shirts made. The kids were of course embarrassed which means I of course made them take a photo with me.
That baby of mine was not impressed either as you can see by his expression. I hadn't left him to go do something for myself yet. This was the first "real" time being away. I wasn't nervous though. He had a great daddy and I knew he would be well taken care of. It would be a good boys night for them.
I sang Ice Ice Baby to him before I left, he gave me a smirk and I took it as a win, no doubt he would be a future fan. I kissed him goodbye and told him I loved him a million and one times then walked out the door.
A week later, after this picture taken, he was gone. HE WAS GONE. How could I have known in this carefree moment, this would be the last photo I would have of the four of us together. Having a last photo...how do you begin to wrap your heart around that. How do you teach it to understand? Two years later I still haven't learned how.
What started out as a pretty decent, average day is now a little heavier. This memory of him makes me miss him just as much as I did the day he left. My arms ache for him. What I would give just to hold you one last time.
But instead of holding you I'm going to pull myself together. Wipe off the mascara stained face. Go home and be the mom my earth kiddos need me to be. Because this is living after child loss. These are the spaces between him.
I think I'll crank up some Vanilla Ice on my home today just for you buddy.