The day that Joshua died, I carried him in my lap in the car, the 2 hours that it took to get from the hospital to home. Shane driving, proper transport paperwork on the floor between the front seats. My first time going home in over 7 weeks.
We brought him into our home for a few minutes. We hadn't yet told the kids that he was gone. We needed to tell them within the safety of our home- without anyone but the 5 of us there. It was one of the most intimate, private, and most gut wrenching moments of my entire life- telling our, then 2 and 4 year olds, that Joshua was no longer living. Listening to my son weep as he began to comprehend that we couldn't keep Joshua, the tears that Shane shed, and praying that Hannah would be able to understand the smallest amount of what was going on.
After that, we took him to the funeral home. They knew we were coming, but we were there before them. We piled out of the van, Joshua in my arms and we went over to explore the perimeter of the cornfield next to the funeral home.
The corn was taller than us and dry. Ready to be harvested. It provided a good distraction for the kids, allowing them to look at and feel the corn. It allowed them to focus on something other than their baby brother's lifeless body resting in my arms. It allowed me to hide the tears and pain.
That corn in the field next to the funeral home- it's not there this year. The field is empty, nothing but a sea of dead leaves and stalks with specks of green where weeds have sprouted. The land is barren, allowing itself rejuvenation after a long and hard season of growing the intense crop that corn is.
The funeral home and field are next door to the subdivision in which my parents live. I drive past it at least once a week when I go to their house. I can't help but notice the empty field. The last place that I held my sweet baby boy in my arms. Those last few moments of feeling his weight in my arms, kissing his head, and fixing his hair. That field is empty and it bothers me.
It bothers me because I see myself and my life in that field. Dry and barren. Starting to become overgrown with weeds, trying to recover from the loss of a stressful and awful year of growing.
That field will, eventually, have corn planted and harvested again, but it needs rest. It needs to soak up the rain water, conquer the weeds, and become ready for planting. I feel like I am in that period of rest. Soaking in the nutrients, allowing healing to transform me from the inside out. Waiting for the planting that will produce a plentiful harvest.
I am that field- that beautifully empty field.