On the first day of school, taking pictures of the house tweens with their backpacks and the sign (which their father said was silly and which I ignored because you have to have a sign), there was a memory. Memory like the smell of rain on a hot summer day or your mother’s old perfume.
When we had family pictures taken in late September, what with the carefully organized sweaters on a 20-degree day, Gabriel’s bracelet on my wrist is not quite visible in the pictures but it’s there all the same. The photo hangs on the wall in my new home. Gabriel is there, even if I’m the only one who knows.
Through the spring and summer, I talked to a baby still in his mum’s belly and I frantically knit all the things for him. If sometimes there was a rushing sound of worry in my ears, I kept that to myself.
Last week, as my team planned out a project on perinatal monitoring for high-risk pregnancies, my voice sounded, at least in my ears, a bit high-pitched as I assigned another team member to work on the project. I prayed no one would ask why I left such a high profile and fascinating project on the table.
In the memory, in the bracelet, in the rushing of my ears, in a high-pitched voice, are the stories of loss and sorrow and longing. If you took away the eyes that composed the first day of school pictures, the hands which knit for the baby, the high-pitched voice. If you took away all of my memories and all of my stories. If you took away all of my soft tissue and erased every tear I’ve cried for him –
If you laid my bones out upon a table and looked at the ribs which protected my heart, you would see his name.
Even with this wonderful man, these amazing house tweens, new babies, and dazzling projects:
Always my darling little boy. Everywhere I am, so also are you. Love is written on my bones.
Dear friends and loved ones,
With great joy and heartbreak, we wish to announce: at 10:26 PM on December 10, 2007, Gabriel Anton was born into the hands of Cathy, his midwife, sang to in the arms of his mother, rocked in the arms of his father, bathed in the arms of his grandmother, and baptized in the arms of Regula, his Parish Priest.
At just after 11 PM, he was carried to Heaven in the arms of the Angels, where we will meet him again one day. At 520 grams (1 pound 2.4 ounces), and 33 cm (13 inches) he was wee, with 10 fingers and toes, and a full head of hair. He was a perfect, but very tiny baby.
For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart. Luke 12:34