Momma should have known. Should have trusted. Instead, I chose to worry, worry, worry. Will I be confused by this new little Bean? Will it be too hard? Will sadness overcome and overwhelm? Will the memories get jumbled with current day? Oh...silly Momma. Just as they have done over the last 12 months - miraculously at times - my heart and brain have got this whole thing figured out:
All I had to do was allow my heart to navigate the path...my brain will follow.
I feel a bit like the cartoon character of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. When he allowed himself to see the beauty, magic and love of Christmas, his heart doubled, triple, quadrupled in size! Well, the moment I gazed into your little brother's eyes, I felt my heart open, expand...and it has continued to do so over the last 5 days.
As I have been told and reassured by other bereaved moms who bravely blazed this trail before me, grief and joy truly can exist side-by-side. They are not mutually exclusive, and each emotion is feeding, informing the other. The joy of the The Bean and all our "firsts" with him evoke powerful reminders of each "first" with you. Some memories I had completely forgotten. Moments buried in sleep deprivation, time, and a hectic life. Rediscovering those moments has brought a whole new, different level of joy combined with pain. This is a new type of emotion that allows me to smile, sob, laugh and cry thanks to the love and light you brought to this world - to this Momma. And, this is an emotion I am growing to love, to embrace. To quote Truvy from "Steel Magnolias" (one of Momma's favorite guilty pleasures) - "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."
Peanut, I snuggled with The Bean this morning in the dim early morning light, and realized he wasn't sleeping. He was wide awake, gazing straight into my eyes with a wise, all-knowing look. He reached out one of his little hands and touched my cheek. Ah...another tiny, old soul. In that moment, I believe he was being touched by you, and together you both reached out to me. "We love you Momma. To the moooooooooon and back!"
(Pictures: The Bean is in the cream lamb towel; Peanut in the blue cow towel)