The urge to cry comes on like an itch. I believe Amy would agree with that statement. It has been 9 days since we found out our baby boy Simon had Trisomy 13. Yesterday we were on a flight on our way back to a place that still feels like home, San Francisco, to heal. Mollie and Pat's wedding will also be a wonderful time to celebrate this coming weekend. The amazing food, people and ceremony will be great escapes.
As I shoved a plastic Wal-Mart bag containing our lunch under the seat in front of me on the plane, I thought, "Better not smash Amy's PB&J." Suddenly a hard swallow, distant thought and penetrating sorrow swept over me. There's the itch. I pulled it together. Amy came back from the "lavatory" and was none-the-wiser to my near mini-cry fest. I sat there and pondered where this wave of sadness, initiated by a thought of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, came from. I mapped my sorrow. PB&J was a staple of my diet as a kid. I loved it with a side of Cheezits...add a regular Coke? Forget about it! I clearly can't. Specific tastes are such a distinct part of my childhood memories.
There will be no packing a school lunch for Simon. We won't know his favorites. We won't have the joy of seeing his body start to groove to that internal music that is brought on when the pleasure of a great snack makes his legs start to bounce, and head start to nod. I think Teddy's internal snack time song is, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," by Michael Jackson. When food hits the perfect spot, he can't resist a little shimmy-shake.
I am happy, and in honesty a little jealous, that Amy gets to have this amazing connection with Simon as he is in her belly. She gets to feel him kick when food makes it his way. She gets a little bit of the "snack time groovin'" that I'll never experience. As a dad, I don't get to have that physical bond with him. Like most men I have talked to, I don't feel a deep bond with a child until I actually see him. I love him, but desire to know him more deeply. My prayer is that I can feel a fraction of what Amy feels now. My mind doesn't connect very well with Simon in his "current" state, but instead my thoughts move ahead to the PB&J sandwiches that won't ever be eaten. I drift toward memories never made.
I did not establish any resolutions in the traditional, cultural sense at the start of 2014. Prior to us knowing of any problems with Simon's health, I came up with a goal for the year to understand heaven better. This "goal" is more of a spiritual landmark that I want to reach as I continue down this path, following Christ. In 2013, my similarly established landmark to reach was a better understanding of the Holy Spirit. Discussion with others, prayer and reading of the Bible throughout the year helped frame a concept for me. I didn't arrive at the true meaning of the Spirit throug a sermon, it actually showed up in a reading of one word in scripture - "HELPER." This desire to put more thought and faith in heaven, again, came long before we learned of Simon's condition. Was this God preparing me for what lay ahead? Definitely. When we have ears to listen, he loves us enough to provide forewarning and soften the blow. A better understanding of heaven and God's promise of paradise will mend our hearts from the wounds of losing Simon on this earth.