COVID-19 Thought Journal | May 13, 2020
Tomorrow is Simon's birthday. He would have been six years old. What would life have been like with him here, still alive? I struggle to play out a scenario where he wasn't sick. I can't fully separate Simon from his physical challenges. His cleft lip, his superior toe and finger counts, his tiny body with a brain and heart that were specially challenged. Those things are beautifully him.
So had he made it to six years old, we'd undoubtedly be living differently. Perhaps our every day up until now would feel like we were social distancing. Children with challenges, like Simon, who live past infancy typically have weakened immune systems. We probably wouldn't be traveling like we do. We may not be living in this house, as it would make more sense to have a house with a first floor bedroom. Who knows if Peter and Goldie would be in our family.
The story of Simon's life is not something I desire to change. Perhaps that's strange to say. I'm not saying I'm glad that my son only lived 7 days and 22 minutes. I just think his story was perfectly told. One of the many lessons I learned during our journey with Simon is that it is OK to question God. If we are to be in relationship with Him, we can cry out with, "Why?" We can tell him we don't like our circumstances. We can tell him we don't see how thing are working together for our good.
But with Simon, I don't look back and see tragedy. I don't look back and say, "If only his heart was stronger. If only he lived longer. If only we'd done more." To say those things makes me feel like his life had mistakes and regrets, and I simply do not believe that. As I look back, I see a journey that was incredibly hard. A journey that left us with scars. But I'm still thankful for these scars. They are our story. They are beautiful tattoos of Simon - constant reminders - that nobody can every take away from us.
Here is a link to the words I wrote just hours before Simon was born in 2014: http://www.balentinememoirs.com/2014/05/on-faith-part-1.html