First I took Caleb to lunch with me today so I could get him a haircut afterward. The conversation I had with him on the way nearly knocked me over:
Caleb: "Mommy, look that car looks like Bumblebee from Transformers."
Me: "Oh, you're right. That's pretty cool. Would you like to watch that movie with me sometime? I think you'd like it"
Caleb: "Well, I think I'll need a new daddy first, since my other daddy is dead."
Me: "Do you want to have a new daddy?"
Caleb: "Yea, so he can watch Transformers with me."
I didn't know what to do with this. At first, I wanted to scream at the thought. I was also offended for a second that Caleb didn't view me as a worthy contender to watch Transformers with, especially since I love them. What I realized from this was that you have been a present part of our family up until now. Always in pictures, stories, prayers, everything we do. We are still a family of 5. But I think Caleb is starting to really understand that you're not ever coming back and that you've become the past. And while it rips my heart in two, I really thought his reaction would stir up gag reflexes, but it didn't. I thought if I ever heard this from my children, I would feel betrayed. I didn't. I'm not sure why.
I have days where I've thought it would be nice just to have someone for me to talk to, share life with, flirt with, someone to make me feel beautiful without having to involve the kids in anything. Other days, I think it would be nice to just have someone for the kids to be constant and a good example of a Christian man to guide them without me having to worry about compromising my love for you. I guess I've never really thought I could have both. And I'm not sure I'll ever really want either. But hearing Caleb express that desire really hurt me today and opened an already bleeding wound of need I see in him. A need for a father figure. A need for someone to play cars with him, watch Transformers with, teach manners to, go fishing and hunting with. I see these things in so many men in his life, but not all in one. That's what he's looking for, cause that's what you were. You were everything.
If that weren't enough to play with my emotions today, I found a gift from my brother today while organizing, the gift he brought to the hospital when Carter was born. Two books: Thinking of You, and Blessing for Mothers. I was so drugged up in the hospital, I only vaguely remember him giving them to me. I opened it up and found this written inside Blessings for Mothers:
"2/8/11: Carter is born (A King is born)
To my beautiful and loving sister that I've always looked up to and wanted the life you live so close to God. I envy your faith and the perfection you show as a parent, the love you give to all those around you, and the friendships you have with so many loving Christians as you have centered your life in your church and in Christ. I love you more than you will ever know!
I haven't dropped to my knees like that in a long time. I can't even type it without sobbing. Oh gosh, babe, you just have no idea what those words mean to me. They could not be more precious or have come at a more perfect time. I was walking around today thinking 'if Brian were alive, he'd call me or text me for my birthday no matter where he was or what he was doing. He always remembered.' I felt him speaking to me tonight, and it was the most treasured gift I could have received. Please give him a giant hug for me and tell him thank you from the bottom of my heart, and let him know how much I love and miss him.
I am still in complete disbelief that this is my life. One year ago, I would have never even imagined. I was just a broke girl in love her simple life. Now, I'm reading notes I'd never seen before from my dead brother, writing it out and telling it all to my dead husband. Are you kidding me? Please tell me this is a joke.
Here's what I've decided to do: At the end of my goodnights from now on, I am going to write out my 'daily blessing for Mothers', as a gift from my brother. First, to make good on this incredible gift and trying to let it resonate within me. Second, so I can feel him speaking through and hopefully bless others as well.
I miss you, my love. I wish you were here to whisper 'Happy Birthday' in my ear after midnight before we fell asleep.
I love you with all that I am.
-from "Blessing for Mothers" - the last gift I received from my brother before he died
DAY 1: The Gift
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights."
- JAMES 1:17 NIV
The gift of motherhood is a "good and perfect" gift from the Lord. Unwrap it, and you will discover a depth of love and commitment surpassed only by the cross.
For proof, read here.