Always With Me

Gradually my memory of him, of the way he smelled, the feel of him in my arms has slipped away from me. You wouldn’t think a mother could forget this, and yet to see me, you wouldn’t think of me as a mother either.

If there is a theme of 7 years, it is the theme of memory. What we remember and what we forget and how we manage this – how we allow ourselves to live in this world, when the very heart of us is in the next.

Quietly, without realizing it, my memory of Gabe has adjusted. Without ever being here he has grown up in my mind. That morning this September when I thought about sending him to first grade, the moments when I see a red haired child and my heart absolutely clenches. It contracts, on well, nothing. It cannot clench on anything, it has been so very long since he was here. It’s like closing your fist against sand, you can’t hold it.

And still, I tell you that it can’t be nothing. This is 7 years. At 10:26 tonight he came, and some time before 11 he slipped away, cradled in my arms. If the weight, the feel and smell of him are gone, the feelings, the pain and the sorrow – for today at least – they are still very much here. The feelings of that day, and every day since then, they weigh on me. My heart clenches on the memory of a life that was never fully lived.

That clench of my heart means something. Even if there is nothing real to clench against, there is still something: feeling and maybe memory.  When all the memory fades, when I cannot close my eyes and see his face; if a time comes that I do not remember the sorrow or the abiding love, when I cannot remember the marvel of looking over every inch of him, amazed at what Owen and I had created, when I cannot remember those things, I will remember this –

That I loved him. That he was mine. Carried underneath my heart, loved from the moment we knew of him. That he is not here and I wish he was.

And when I cannot see his face anymore, it will not matter. In every way that matters, he is always with me.Gabriel

 

Happy Birthday little boy. I miss you still.

**************

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

 

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9 Responses to Always With Me

  1. Peg says:

    Touching post. Sorry as always for your loss of Gabriel. Thinking of you today.

  2. a says:

    Happy Birthday, Gabriel…

    (What a week for you – I hope you are bearing up OK…)

  3. Julie says:

    Ohmygosh he looks so perfect. And so loved! Happy birthday Gabriel xoxo

  4. Naomi says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and Mr. Spit as you remember.

  5. Thadene Gold says:

    Cherry and Owen,
    I can hardly see thru my tears to respond to your heart felt tribute.
    One of my regrets in life is that somehow, we (Dave and I) lost track of you for way too many years. And because of doing so, we were unable to be with you, to support you and Owen during that heartbreaking time.
    You do carry the treasure of him in your heart and in some way, Gabe has been a big part in who you have become today.

    We love the person you are.
    Please know that you are in our thoughts, our prayers and in our hearts as you deal with all that life has thrown at you this past while.

    Sending big hugs and look forward to talking soon.
    Much love,
    Thadene

  6. March is for daffodils says:

    Oh, beautiful boy. Amazing boy. Remembering Gabriel as you move into this eighth year without him. I already forget so much, but as you say, there is always the love that can’t be forgotten. They really are always with us. Imagine if others – who don’t know – could know, just for a moment, what that is like, to carry them always, always, so completely present and so absolutely absent at the same time. Sending love to you and Owen, Mrs. Spit. Seven years.

  7. loribeth says:

    Happy birthday, wee Gabriel, & (((hugs))) to you both, Mr. & Mrs. Spit. I love reading the birth announcement in your blog every year. 🙂

  8. Faith Embleton says:

    Only a mother who has lost a child can truly understand the depth of this pain and know it embeds its self in each of is in a specific way. All I can tell you is God is good and in time the healing process finds away! I will be praying for both you and Owen love you Auntie Faith

  9. Reese says:

    Every year you post the letter. Every year I weep. Love to you and Owen….

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