"To love another person is to see the face of God" - Jean Valjean, Les Miserables

My memories of my life with Maxie come back to me in 2-3 second flashes.  I remember his gigantic smile when I would come into his room to get him from his crib.  I remember the funny way he flirted with our housekeeper.  I remember that he would also flash a gigantic smile when I opened the back car door to get him from his car seat.  I remember the way he looked at his daddy.  I remember a lot more but it is in flashes - the memories are not fluid, like the way you get to love someone in the present - more like pictures of a past relationship whose presence seems to be fading from your present day life.  It makes me feel sick to my stomach.  It hasn't even been two years.  I worry what my memories will be like in ten years.  I worry that I will forget to be excited when I am at the end of my life - that I will be too focused on losing what is in my living life to look forward to the soul mate awaiting me in the next one.  I worry that my memories will fade. 

I work hard to cultivate a memory of my life with Maxie that feels present and connected.  It is hard work, most especially because it forces me to recognize that he is not here any longer and we do not have what we once did together.  It forces me to bring up the memories and feel them presently - which causes me a lot of heartache and pain.  The sacrifice is worth the connection though - if I stop believing that - I am afraid I will let go....and I never want to let go.

There are certain specific memories that are with me in a much more present way than others.  Instances where Max and I connected on a soul to soul level that was way outside the regular, every boundaries that exist even between mother and baby.  I'm sure I've mentioned them before but I can't recall when. 

When I was pregnant with Maxie, he had a foot (or two) that stuck into my ribs on the upper right side of my torso.  I would push his feet and he would push back.  I felt like we had our own little secret language.  We were communicating far before he was born - far before I could look into his eyes and know exactly who he was.  I vividly remember sitting in a parlor meeting in someone's home, listening to a speaker, and playing this little push game with Max.  I wondered if my gigantic grin was appropriate to the subject that was being discussed.  I felt like I was completely removed from the going ons of the rest of the room.  I couldn't wait to get into my car and talk to the baby inside of me....which is exactly what I did.

I have a very vivid memory of going over to my mother's house with Maxie to swim one weekend.  It was just me and him in the backyard.  We sat in a wicker chair, under the big tree on her deck.  I remember thinking to myself how special our love was, how much I would cherish this time in our lives together.  I sang to him and talked to him and told him how we would remember these days when he was older and how I would miss them.  I hugged him close, in his damp towel and kissed his still wet cheek.  I can still feel both of those sensations....they still feel present.

I have the same kind of memory of arriving early for Max's nine month pediatrician appointment, parking the car, getting in the backseat and putting him in my lap.  We cuddled and giggled and nuzzled closely with each other.  I looked into his eyes and felt so much connection - so much love - lifetimes of knowing each other.  I could have sat back there with him for hours.  It was so nice to have time to just BE together - not rushing off to work or getting him ready for daycare or feeding or even reading to him or bathing him - just BEING with him.  I miss it.....deeply....profoundly...through my bones and blood and deep into the heart of my soul.  I miss him so much.

What I remember most is how it made me feel to know he was mine - that I would grow old with him - that from the moment of his first kicks, I would know him for the rest of my life.  I remember the satisfaction in knowing that he loved me with as much intensity as I loved him.  The love still runs through my veins with intensity.  The emotions feel just as present as ever - but the pictures are fading and I am clinging to them with as tight of a grip as I can.


Taryn said...

So beautiful!

Jayden's Mommy said...

These memories are so precious. I think we are always connected to our children. Whether we are with them today or later. You are a wonderful mom. Thank you for sharing so deep feelings.