I think that is one of the things that hurts the most many days, is watching Peyton go through this and wishing I could make it better. Drew would be 16 months old now, walking around, beginning to test his vocabulary out and into "sharing" with Peyton.
Jordan and I were so overjoyed to have two boys and beyond thrilled that we would be granted the gift of watching brothers grow up together. I can't begin to tell you how excited this thought made us. There is no relationship I have found that compares to that of my relationship with my siblings. If you ever saw Drew and Peyton together you would say that they too had an unusually close friendship for siblings so young, and their connection seemed to run deep. My heart breaks for the loss of this opportunity and for the loneliness Peyton may experience throughout his life. We pray we can fill our house with the sounds of children interacting, but even if we are blessed to be able to bring more children into our home, there will likely always be a gap in age between Peyton and any siblings that he could have. There is no way to fix this gap in my mind. We just have to get used to it.
There are so many layers to this grief that it feels a little like a wading pool with so many leaks that no matter how many times you fill it up you can't keep it full and every time you patch a hole another one shows itself nearby. I need more patches!
I find this whole experience to be very surreal and yet all-encompassing at the same time. Every thread of my being is aware of its loss, yet I feel a strange type of peace and contentment almost constantly. I miss Drew so much that it physically hurts some moments, but in other moments I am so profoundly thankful that God has surrounded Drew and guarantees that he will never hurt, never struggle under trial, and never stray from Him. Would I erase the last 7 months if I could and take our little Drew back? Faster than my heart can beat. Knowing that we can't though, what do we do now? I'm not really sure of the answer to that question, but I know God is faithful and He will continue to guide us. Given that we have no choice but to go forward, I pray we will be able to say 5 years from now that, "We liked who we were before Drew came along, and we loved life best with Drew, but who we are now is better than who we were then." I believe this experience can cause us to wilt, or it can bring growth and life that we would never have known the fullness of before.
Does this mean that we are feeling better and that the pain is easing? To be honest, the answer is no. It hurts more today than it hurt a week after he died. Unless you have known the ache of losing someone it's hard to explain, but the longer I go, the more aware I am of the loss. People told us that it can get harder after the cards and the flowers stop coming and people stop calling, but I didn't realize that I could walk in a stupor equally as long that would begin to wear off about the time the cards started to dwindle. We are doing alright, and there are plenty of joyful and happy moments in our house these days, but there are also still plenty of tears and conversations of yearning.
One of our greatest sources of happiness right now is Peyton and we are so thankful for the smiles he provides. He makes us laugh often and I am sure the laughter is as healing as the tears. His view on life is so refreshing and adorable! One of the comments he lit us up with recently was one dropped over dinner. I was eating a mandarin orange and commented that I had eaten hundreds of them while pregnant with him. He looked at me, looked at my tummy and thought for a moment, after which he said, "Yup! And I played with them!" while he acted like he was juggling! Oh how he makes my heart smile. How can I mope around during the day and be sad with someone like that around to bring laughter?
On a technical note, we met with Drew's neurologist recently to discuss his last blood test. The results are still somewhat inconclusive but it appears Drew may have had a mitochondrial depletion disorder. We don't know any more about the impact to the rest of our family/family planning yet, but we ran into Drew's genetic specialist on the way out of the hospital that same day and he thought most of the results were back so we should hopefully hear more soon. We will keep everyone posted.
To any of the nurses/caregivers that Drew had that may follow this blog - we miss you all so much!!! Please pass our love and thoughts on to all that knew him.
Please pray for one of our dear little friends that we met while in the hospital. She is turning 2 soon and we are praying God will bless her with a strong immune system and as much health as possible. Please also pray for her mom and dad that they will have the strength, peace and direction they need.
Please also pray for another family we met while in the hospital that God will give them the strength and peace they need during a time of transition and that God will work strongly to heal their child.