Here we are. Just one short month away from Joshua's, should have been, 3rd birthday.
I cannot believe he would have been 3 this year.
Can you believe that?
It's usually around this time that I start shutting down. I start grieving hardcore.
This year, I can feel it coming, but it hasn't arrived yet.
As we prepare for the beginning of school, I try to focus on Caleb and Hannah. Caleb will be in 2nd grade and Hannah is starting Kindergarten. In the fall, it will just be me and the Lukester spending our days together. It's hard to believe how much time has gone by and how different my big kids are compared to when Joshua was alive.
In the quiet moments of my days, I find myself thinking about Joshua. We would be in the "arriving" stage with him. Close to potty training, sleeping in a big boy bed, talking and able to express himself, acting a bit more "civilized" than they do when they are a toddler. We would be planning his birthday celebration in a month, and his next surgery, the final surgery of 3 required surgeries to reroute his heart in an effort to save his life.
Instead, I'm dreading another August 16th. I'm pushing aside my grief to buy school supplies, attend kindergarten school play dates, and make a final push to get at least one more "big" fun family activity into our summer. School starts on August 14th and I have to keep it together to not take away from the beginning of the school year excitement for the other kids.
I'm also watching Joshua's "should have been" heart friends having their 3rd and final surgery in the next upcoming months. For as much as I didn't want to have to hand my baby over to a surgeon again, I would give anything to be able to do it.
I'm trying not to let my mind go there. I'm trying not to think about where we should be, and instead I'm trying to focus on what is. I have 3 beautiful living and healthy children. I have a husband that I adore. I have friends who are more like family to me than friends. I have a home that is rest and peace for me. And above all else, I have a God who will never leave me and cries with me in my grief.
But the pain is still there. The reality of my baby's death is still like a dagger to my heart. My soul aches at the thought of another birthday without the birthday boy. I miss him. I miss him more than words can express.
So bear with me over the next month. I will probably be around a lot, writing and thinking through my grief, and remembering the one who left too soon and changed my life forever.