August 10, 2019 (http://www.labeledtolunderful.com)

Catie and I were walking in the galleria last week. We walked past 3 young boys who were happily killing time on a summer afternoon.They looked to be around Brian’s age and I stopped for a minute to watch them. They had baseball caps and t-shirts on, the kind Brian always wears and I felt this wave go through me almost making me a tiny bit nauseas. I asked Catie if she thought they were Brian’s age. We both agreed that they probably were. Then I asked her what she thought Brian would be like if his genetic code was different. I ask myself this question all the time. When I get in my moods and wallow for a bit I let my imagination wander. I wonder if I would be caught up in him being “popular”. Not a word I like to use but let’s face it, it’s a word used quite a bit in society, so I’m not going to tiptoe around what everyone secretly (some not so secretly) wants for their kids. I wonder if I would be caught up in him being a master of sports or a master in the classroom. I wonder if he would have a girlfriend and if our house would’ve been a place his peers would come to hang out. I wonder what it would be like to be a mom that thinks about these things. I wonder what it would be like really feeling a part of the community in which I live.

I wonder. I cry. I stop. I get myself together. And just like that I’m back to reality. I’ve earned those moments.

Although I’ve narrowed my dreams for Brian they don’t stray from the fundamental wishes I had for him the moment he first was placed in my arms on that winter night 15 years ago. I wished he would be healthy and reach his God-given potential. I wished he would be a productive member of society and make meaningful contributions to the world we live in and most importantly, above all, live a peaceful life surrounded by love and friendship. Much has been taken from Brian but I realize we can still do this. It will look different than I expected and I don’t know what the productive piece is going to look like but we will commit to making something work for him.

So this brings me to a serious question that I think I know the answer to. Will I ever stop looking at Brian’s peers as I scroll through facebook watching some fun outing take place without a pain in my heart? Simply put…….will I ever stop grieving? Some might think the word grief is not the proper word to describe the sense of loss I feel but I think it is. That doesn’t mean I am not thankful and count every blessing I have but when you watch the daily struggles you would have to be made of stone to not feel the loss.

Behind these worries with which I’ve learned to cope is a much greater fear. A fear that makes me breathless and it makes me avoid thinking of the future. Ironically, as I am writing this sitting outside with my husband on the most beautiful night of the summer our wedding song plays on spotify. Which brings into exact focus my greatest fear: who will love Brian like me and my husband when we are gone?

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