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How can it be five years? A letter to Reed

February 19, 2013

Reed70To my sweet boy –

Reed, I woke up yesterday strangled by my emotions. Before I even lifted my head, I could feel that old familiar ache.  My heart literally hurt.  I longed to just hear your voice, to experience your laughter, to see the world through your beautiful blue eyes.  All the things I get to do with Sawyer, Erin, and Clo and I love each shared memory. Yet, I feel like the whole world can see the hole in my heart whenever I wish I had those moments with you.

Then come other times, when I really am truly happy. I almost surprise myself, because it’s at those times I feel guilty because I wonder if I am ever supposed to be happy again.  Conflicting emotions that don’t mix with what I know to be true.  You would never want us to be forever sad this side of heaven, but more importantly neither would God. Simply, He would want to remind us that this is not our forever home.  It is a lesson that we couldn’t forget if we wanted to, simply because even though we can’t deliver mail there we know your permanent address.

Five years ago, I never thought I would be sitting where I am now.  I want to be getting ready for your second prom, planning your graduation party and trip, and buying all the great things that you would need for college.  It just wasn’t meant to be a part of your story.

Just as grief is now a part of mine.  Heart crushing, sneak up on you when you least expect it, grief.  A pain so deep you never knew your heart had so many crevices and could hurt so badly.

But when things get so painful, I remember a sweet, red-headed boy whose whole life was defined by hope.  Not just a temporary hope. Oh no! A hope rooted in a love greater than any love that I have ever given. Inspirational was a boy who believed that love was greater than hate.  A boy who believed that turning the other cheek wasn’t just a saying. A boy who believed that those who hurt others were hurting themselves taught me a lot in just twelve short years. A deep faith, overflowing with love defined your life.

Sometimes, I think that you knew you were only going to be here for a brief stay.  You did nothing half-way.  You didn’t just read books, you devoured them.  You didn’t just learn something, you consumed it. And, you didn’t just love, you loved with abandon.

It is that hope, love, and faith that has helped us to remember, to cope (and sometimes heal), and to keep alive your legacy.  So that someday, we will all get to meet the ones whose lives your brief life touched.  Standing in the glorious, shining light of heaven, I can only imagine then that it will all make sense.

Waiting to hug you and hold you again, but always carrying you in my heart – Momma

  1. Ernestine Williams permalink

    My Kandy I don’t know what to say to you. I know that it has to be so hard on you, and the rest of the family. A mother love is so bittersweet. Just know that I LOVE you and I am sending you a Bog Hug. I Love you aunt nernie

  2. Aunt Nernie – It is hard, but we know that we will see Reed again. For him, it will seem like a blink of an eye. I love you – Kandy

  3. Grandma Sheran permalink

    It was only yesterday and we were celebrating your 12 birthday watching you race around the go-cart track having the most fun. The smile on your face when you lapped the others on the track. What joy filled our hearts to see you having so much fun. It is times of great joy that we must grab and hold on tight to cope with the sad days. You were our first grandchild and we were so proud of you. We miss you terribly but know you are safe in God’s hands. Love you

    • That was sure one great birthday – once we got there. Of course, seeing Auntie K take care of some bullies was worth the price of admission too!

  4. As always when approaching March 3rd, the day our precious boy died, I find myself contemplative in looking back over the last eleven years. Emotions are much closer to the surface at this time of year and tears spring into my eyes so much more quickly than at other times during the year. How can it be eleven years? It seems like so long ago…and yet just yesterday. Hugs to you…thank you for sharing your life and your boy.

  5. Rebecca – Those milestones just have a way of sneaking up on us, when we least expect it. We have also lost 3 babies, and there are two days each year that really bring me to my knees. (Packing backpacks for school and hanging Christmas stockings are horrible, because I should have 7 of each of those.) Instead, slowly, I am learning to cherish the three that I do have. Hugs warmly sent back to you . . . as we journey with membership in a club neither of us ever wanted to join.

  6. t h i n g s + f l e s h permalink

    i “liked” your post for its open heart, and the light in which you preserve Reed’s memory. tony

  7. Tony – Thank you so much for stopping by. Somedays, I wish I knew how to write “robotically” because writing would be easier and less painful. Inspiration has come from all kinds of places and often, it begins with my open heart. Yet, then I think that its that willingness to be so transparent is what resonates with other souls. Thanks again! Kandy

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