On March 9, 2019, I was released from the hospital after giving birth to my third child, Luna. I got home to see my second son Nico looking like a teenager. He was twenty months and all of a sudden I felt like I had forgotten his "little-ness." It's a difficult feeling to describe but it was accompanied by all consuming guilt. I couldn't believe he was almost two years old. He was able to say some words. He was running, tumbling, and rough-housing. He just seemed so big compared to little Luna.
I was brought back to a moment where the life as I knew it, ended forever... the moment I lost my first son Liam. Liam was 15-months old when he was hit by a drunk driver. Losing him was and is the worst moment in my life. The grieving process is now a life long process. When I lost him, I lost a future with my son but I also felt like I had lost part of the past.
About a month after losing Liam, I had spoken to another mother who had lost her nine-month old, ten years before I lost Liam. She recounted the trauma and shared her heart with me. She encouraged me and said, "It gets better." But then she said something that I was already feeling.
She said, "I don't really remember him. I remember the love. But I only have fragments of my time with him. I wish I wrote down my memories."
My heart crumbled.
When I came home from the hospital with Luna to see Nico's toddler self running around, I was brought to a very familiar and dark feeling I had right after losing Liam.
I felt that I had forgotten SO MUCH.
Motherhood is so physical, and we do so much each day it's impossible to remember everything. It's impossible to remember their innocent idiosyncrasies. The time your son brought you a pair of socks and mumbled "cold," when you were having an absolutely chaotic day. Or the time your daughter smiled from ear to ear at the sight of your dog and shoved her face in his fur while you were cooking dinner.
These moments are small. REALLY small. It's really easy to miss them. They're fleeting and once they're gone they cannot be replicated. But the thing is, I realized after losing Liam, all I wanted to do was relive these small innocuous moments. I wanted the ordinary back because that's where we were happiest. That's where things were simple.
Once these fleeting moments are gone, they're gone.
If you're not paying attention to them, you'll miss them in the moment. And if you don't actively work to preserve them, you will forget them.
I felt this ache when I lost Liam. I lost a future with him but I also feel like I have lost so much of the past merely because of the passage of time and in this case trauma. I wish I had kept a memory journal with him.
These moments have the capacity to slow down time. They have the power to bring us back to the present after a grueling day. These moments are tiny but boy can they be mighty when given the opportunity.