I remember when Caleb made this and asked me to take a picture of his drawing of you to send to Heaven. Apparently, you have really long legs.
I had an interesting conversation with Caleb the other day, which is not an unusual occurrence.
We were swimming in the pool together, and he suddenly got very quiet and sad. I said "What's up buddy, you look a little sad. Is everything ok?" He says "I miss my daddy. I thought he was gonna come to Aunt Karen's to swim."
"But Daddy's in Heaven bud, why did you think he'd come swimming with us?"
"I thought Daddy would stay alive until we came here."
"I wish that were true. He'd sure have fun with us, wouldn't he?"
"Yeah. I thought my daddy was the strongest in the whole wide world. One-hundred strong (he uses 100 as the biggest quantity he can understand)."
"Your daddy was very strong. I'm so sad he can't play with us today."
For some reason, this conversation made total sense to me. Caleb looked up to you the way any little boy looks up to his daddy. You were his hero, his role-model, the man he wanted to be when he grows up. No one is bigger or stronger than daddy. Surely a man of that magnificence can't die - Daddies are invincible. He is crushed that his hero isn't what he thought he was. I find myself realizing this on a daily basis because it's still so unbelievable to me that you're gone. And Caleb was realizing the same thing.
My fear is that he is recognizing you aren't coming back and trying to find another hero. I'm doing my best to make sure that slot will always be yours. I'm thankful he has other role models, but I want him to always remember that you were a great man and that I hope he does grow up to be just like you. Just like I will do myself to make that real for Carter too. I tell him about you constantly, and try to show him pictures of you often. He loves to grab your ring on my necklace, and every time he does, I always tell him "da-da" to make sure he makes the connection. Maybe it's nothing, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something.
I miss you babe. I really thought you were invincible too.
I love you with everything that I am.
-from "Blessing for Mothers" - the last gift I received from my brother before he died
DAY 14: Faith and Hope
"Pride is on of the seven deadly sins; but it cannot be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is compound of two carinal virtues--faith and hope. -CHARLES DICKENS
Faith-believing what you cannot see; and hope-an optimistic expectations...What would mothering be without them? Impossible.