I thought about you a lot today.

You must have been on Suzie’s mind too because she kept asking questions about you. Especially, in the car, as we drove to Costco. I was quietly listening as she and Hagen was talking about you. They do this often and it is usually seems to be out of nowhere. I’d love to know what it is that started the thought or conversation. How do they bring moments like this back to you?

I parked the car. Suzie hopped over the middle seat and asked, “We really have five people in our family, right Mom? It is just that four are alive and one of us died, right?” There are times when she says these things so matter of factly and I am so proud of her, of US, for handling your death in an open and honest way. It’s not easy, but we do our best. I have comfort knowing my living children are closer to God because of  you. I am happy because of how they view Heaven as a place of unimaginable beauty, where you, their little brother, will wait patiently to be united with them.  We talk about how time here on earth is said to be far different than it is in Heaven. I can hear excitement in their voice when talking about seeing you for the first time. They are always talking about how they will live a “long, long time” before meeting you and you will still be a little boy forever in Heaven.

But, sometimes (like this one), I have moments when hearing your brother and sister talk of you feels like someone punched me in the heart. It is all I can do to take a deep breath and put a smile on while answering, “Yes sweetie, you are right.”  Death, especially of a loved one,   is such a big thing to wrap your mind around and for me to watch your brother and sister talk so matter of fact about your death is bitter sweet at best. It isn’t something I’d expect children to have conversations about, but they do. They are completely aware of what it means to die, morn and desperately wish to change the fact that their brother will never grow up with them. It has taken so much of their innocence and grown them in ways some adults three times their age never do.

I love you, Mac. I never take for granted the beautiful moments your sweet life encouraged in our lives. It never changes the fact that I’d trade them for you, but because I can’t…. these moments, the hard ones, I will always do my best to recognize and cherish them.

I love you to the moon and back, my sweet boy.