In 8 days my son will be 33 years old. Notice I don’t say “would have been.” It’s difficult for me to use past tense. He still lives within me. He lives within the hearts and souls of all that have loved him.
I remember every detail of the day I gave birth to him. I remember the pain, the cries, and the screams. I remember the distressed look on his fathers face and the pangs of worry that covered my mothers eyes. I vividly remember the cold room, the rough sheets and the nurses walking in and out of my room. I wanted so desperately for time to hurry up and pass so that the pain I was feeling would no longer have it’s grip on me. I prayed and bargained with God to take the agony away. I wanted to be free of the pain that engulfed every inch of my body. A pain and torment that cut me DEEP to the core. I appealed to Him to bring relief to me and those that surrounded me. I prayed for stillness and peace.
Thirty plus hours later, Joey finally came in to this world. He came with such a vengeance that I was left with scars. Scars that I carry proudly to this day. My Joey came in weighing a whopping 10 1/2 pounds! Ten and a half pounds of love, tenderness and comfort. I cried as I gently held and caressed him. I closed my eyes and breathed in his loving scent. I memorized every fold in his skin, every hair on his head, every wrinkle on his body. I couldn’t wait to create memories with my new family. When it was time to turn him over to the nurse, I remember not wanting to let him go. I was in absolute heaven and even though God did not relieve me of my pain quickly, I thanked Him for it. I thanked Him for letting me be momma to this chubby bundle of life. I thanked Him for entrusting me to love him, protect him, to cherish him. For the first time in my life, because of Joey, I knew what pure and true love was.
Isn’t it funny how life works? How our lives come full circle? The precise and exact emotions I felt when Joey was born, I will experience again but for a completely unpleasant and unwelcomed life altering event. There will be no thanks given to God, no memories to look forward to, no beginnings to a new life…only an end to one.
My sons favorite saying was Hakuna Matata from the movie The Lion King. The movie centers on the circle of life. We are born, we leave our legacy, and then we die. In a few short months…July 16th, I will be relieving the heart wrenching moments of when he passed. In 181 days, I will relive the pain, the cries of distress and the look of agony on my loved ones faces. I will have flash backs as to how I pleaded and bargained with God to take the pain away and to make this an ugly nightmare to which I would awaken from. In 4344 hours, the wounds will reopen and the scars will reappear. I will recall how I held him for the last time trying to memorize the feel of his skin, every hair on his head, every wrinkle on his face. I will remember caressing him, taking in his scent, and crying over him. I will remember thanking him for letting me be his momma and for loving me so much. I will remember telling him that because of him, I learned what true love was. I will recall the moment when it was time to leave, I didn’t want to let him go. I will recall how I held him and how I cried over him as I thanked him for all the memories he left me with. And, at that moment, and for the first time in my life, I will remember how I learned what real pain was.
But for now, in 8 days, I will celebrate the day Joey, Jose Enrique Palacio, III, came in to my life. The day my life would never be the same. The day my life changed forever but changed for a beautiful reason…the day my son was born.
We Never Know The Value Of a Moment…Until It Becomes A Memory