So yesterday marked the anniversary of the day we said goodbye to Tejan.
I've been pondering this milestone for the past month or so... it's an especially hard occasion for me to write about. I struggle with putting my heart down on the page.
A friend asked the other day how I was doing with missing T. - did I still miss him each day or had I settled into his absence in a way that it was only an occasional thought - a sort of passing sadness?
I struggled with answering that.
Because yes - some days, I'm just fine. And I can even go a whole day without thinking of him as the busy-ness of life takes over and I find myself on auto pilot. But then I remember. Something makes me think of him and I feel horrible guilt over forgetting. I don't want to forget! I want to remember him each and every day and make good on my promise to keep him in my daily prayers...
And yes - some days I miss him still so much that I have to steal away to my bedroom and shut the door and just let the tears flow. I hide because I feel a sort of shame in my sadness - as though I should be able to manage it better by now - and because I don't want the kids to know how terribly my heart hurts for him still. Those are the hard days - when I just want to hold his hand again and hear his voice. I am surprised at the depth of these emotions after all this time. Days like these, I find myself totally emotionally weary.
I realized something the other day when the kids were in the kitchen asking each other silly questions... I wasn't really paying attention to them and so was caught off guard when Ethan asked me "Mom, if you could have anything in the world, what would you have?"
The first thing to pop into my head?
I would bring Tejan back to live here.
And that, of course, started a wave of thinking I had not before indulged in... I wanted him here. Not in Africa. I want him in my home. In my family. In my days.
And yet - it is impossible.
He belongs to Sierra Leone.
And so, a year later, I still find myself conflicted. Understanding my reality and yet fighting against it.
The truth is, I believed God would heal my heart.
I thought it would be easier by now.
And I'm discovering that perhaps my heart will not heal. Ever.
That perhaps, it is God's plan that I live with this brokenness.
This empty hand.
This house that only echoes with the voices of three children. Not four.
And so, a year later, I find the passage of time a sort of cruel joke.
Because time doesn't necessarily heal.
It may just be a marker for people to feel they can expect some sort of normalcy - some semblance of healing - a life returned to it's ordinariness.
But I don't think I can ever be ordinary again.
And I cannot ever live in complete contentment.
I am a mother divided.
I don't mean to sound angry - or unhappy - or depressive.
Because I am none of those things.
But I need you to know - a year later - that my heart aches still. And that the memory of our goodbye on the front lawn is as fresh as though it were yesterday. And that my house will forever feel eerily quiet in the morning. Each and every morning - whether I take the time or have the mental and emotional energy to acknowledge it, it is there.
One of my children is not here.
And he will not ever be here.
A year later just doesn't matter at all.
I hesitate to even share this. Because it feels so utterly personal. So private. My mourning has had to become a private thing - because it's socially uncomfortable for me to talk about it - and for people to respond to... it's just easier to keep it to myself.
I think it's a large part of my lack of writing over these past months.
Because it looms so large still in my heart and to write about other things feels artificial. But I also don't want to burden the blog with the very old news about my broken heart.
So there you have it. A year later.
Who knew God would have me here?
I have no regrets.
I just didn't know. Couldn't have imagined that the feeling would never go away.
My life truly is changed forever.
Changed forever by a little boy from Africa.
The miracle of it all is that I can say with all honesty - I'm a lucky girl.
I'm am blessed to walk through my days with this broken heart.
Because I have known Tejan. And because he knows he is my son.
So I wouldn't change a thing.