Tuesday, December 20, 2016
I have wrestled a bit with the reality you would be turning thirteen today; a teenager. How is that possible? I wonder what conversations we could be having and if you would be athletic, creative, analytical, silly. Would you be confident or timid? I suppose on one hand you are the lucky one who gets to miss all the angst of hormones, middle school and broken hearts but I still wish I could love you through it all.
When we first lost you, I lost myself for a long time. The brokenness I felt impacted so much of my daily life, how I interacted with others and who I allowed to get close. I wasn't me. There were times the pain was so strong I had to remind myself to breathe and then got angry because I did. I thank God for the little girls who needed their mother because without them to continue mothering, I honestly don't know how I would have moved past those initial months of grief.
As the days turned to months and the months into years, I started to find my footing but I still harbored anger toward your birth mother. I couldn't bring myself to look her in the eye and forgive her even though I knew how desperately she needed authentic forgiveness. Frankly, I needed that release as well. It took me way too long to feel as though I could exonerate her from the hold I had. I will carry the burden of that for as long as it takes her to accept the grace she has always deserved.
You would be so proud of her. She is the mother she always wanted to be. She has a beautiful family she gets to serve and love every day. She is joyful and has defeated the addiction that held her hostage for so many years. But as I have navigated finding a balance between remembering you and moving forward, I have stumbled. I still can't tolerate people who lie about kids and draw very strong boundary lines when I know they have. God has some more work to do on me in this area.
There are brief moments now that I surprise myself by how I can remember something you did with a smile rather than tears. A friend of Makenna's had a baby this summer at the same gestation you were born. I held my breath for days praying that sweet momma wouldn't be saying goodbye to her precious little girl. As the photos and milestone updates flowed, I remembered with less pain than those hospital images used to invoke. I am proud of me. Moving forward without guilt isn't easy. I will never forget you and there will still be moments my breath catches or tears fill my eyes but I am okay and your birth mom is too.
I hope birthdays in heaven are joyful and you know God has worked on my broken heart these past thirteen years in such a way as to hopefully allow His light to shine through it. I love you Ryan Patrick. I always will. Happy thirteenth birthday sweet boy.