Last New Year's Eve felt a lot like tonight. Something was off. I now wonder if my heart knew something that my mind did not. We fell asleep before we got the chance to say "Happy New Year". I awoke right after midnight and woke you up to say those precious words for the very last time. We never opened the bottle of Sparkling Apple Cider we were going to toast with. In fact, the bottle of cider still sits in the refrigerator awaiting the chance to toast with you.
I remember spreading all the baby pictures of you and your brother out on the counter that night. You laughed and said I "was doing too much". But my heart made me pause to appreciate all the beautiful memories we had made together. On New Year's Day you and I went for a walk- just the two of us. We talked. I remember it like it was yesterday. We made plans to go fishing in the spring but the spring proved to be too late. It's as if the seasons ceased to exist and I'm stuck in this epoch holding on to the essence of you.
The next day, on my birthday I felt a heaviness once again. Your dad took me to dinner and the whole time my heart longed to get back home to you and your brother. All I wanted to do was spend time with our perfect little family. We played Connect 4 that night and I felt joy in simply spending my birthday with you, your brother, and your Dad. I wonder what my heart was trying to tell me.
God sent me a message sometime between Christmas and my birthday that my time was limited. I was not making as big of an impact as I should be and I felt a new sense of urgency. I remember going back to school and telling my students that I was older than Martin Luther King was when he died and that I needed to do more with the time I had left. I had turned 41 and remember feeling guilt for not making more of an impact with my life. I did not know how many more years I would have. I knew life was short and that tomorrow wasn't promised. But I always thought that you had many more tomorrows to look forward to and that is was I that would be leaving soon.
I sit here tonight with a heavy heart wondering if in any alternate reality I could have traded places with you. My heart longs for you. My soul is crying though my eyes are dry. My mind tries to accept what my heart refuses to. I wonder how could this have been the destiny assigned to my soul? Is this why I've lived my entire life with a heavy heart? I have always empathized for those who suffered. Now I empathize for me. I now know suffering. But it is through this suffering that I now know how the true servants of God felt. I honestly have never longed to be returned to my Creator...until now. It is the realization that you have returned to God that draws me nearer to Him. My heart longs to be with God and my heart longs to be with you. My heart is heavy because I am forced to continue on until my appointed time though my soul longs to be reconnected to the essence that branched off from mine in the creation of you. God made us one. One day I will no longer be a fraction but will be restored to be whole. You complete me. My heart is heavy but my soul surrenders to the will of God. I go on with a heavy heart, not because I am strong but because deep down I think that maybe my heart already knew.