What should have been.
Thinking about the way life should be with your child still on earth takes you to some of your darkest and loneliest places.
You ask yourself...
What they would look like now?
What would they be doing?
What would bring them joy?
What milestones would they be reaching?
When I go to this place I have to remind myself I have two choices. I can let the grief of his absence swallow me whole or I can focus on the beautiful things that have enriched my life because of him.
When I shift my focus to everything he has brought into my life instead of only focusing on the "what should have beens" I realize that given the chance, I wouldn't change things. I couldn't change things.
I know those words may be shocking to read. How could a mother who lost a piece of her say she would change nothing? If she could have her son here with her why wouldn't she?
I was recently asked, "if your son were still alive would you have your baby that came after him?".
I sat quietly thinking about my answer. I thought about this entire journey and the circumstances in which my youngest son came into our world. Finally I reply, "No. No, I would not."
That's the simple truth. I have one son with me now because I no longer have one son on earth.
Not changing things doesn't mean I don't miss my son in Heaven with every ounce of my body. It doesn't mean I don't cry out for him daily. It doesn't mean that I do not count down the days until I am holding him in my arms again.
What it means is this - as much as I cannot imagine my life without my child I lost being a part of it, I also cannot imagine my life without my rainbow baby that came after him being a part of it. They are equally a part of me.
The space between now and when I am reunited in Heaven with one little boy is filled by another little boy that brings me much laughter and hope. A little boy that fills my heart with so much love each day and makes me feel like I am actually starting to live again.