Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Sadness and Joy

February 2.  This is a date that is both joyous and heartbreaking.  February 2, 1995 is the day that my oldest son Gabriel was born.  He came into this world a healthy 9 pounds 3 ounces.  I remember just looking down at that beautiful little baby who had caused me so much pain, but it was all forgotten and only love filled the place where just seconds ago pain had been.  I look back and wonder if I would warn that young mother, that younger me what life had in store.  Would I tell that 24 year old what pain there was in her future, I think I might allow myself the joy.  I would allow myself to be blissfully unaware, but maybe I would tell her to cherish every single moment she had with that little boy.  Don't be so quick to scold, give more hugs, give more kisses, be more patient.

On December 24, 2004 we lost our Gabriel, he was 9 years old.  Three days earlier we had been involved in a car accident that had left Gabe with major head injuries and a ruptured spleen, had broken his little sister Grace's  leg (causing her to have 5 surgeries in 3 years to correct the damage) and ruptured my spleen.  He fought for three days in intensive care, but in the end his poor little body had lost it's fight.  Christmas at our house would never be the same, life would never be the same.

Gabe taught me more than I could have ever taught him, even if I had been able to spend my entire life teaching him.  He taught me about unconditional love.  I thought that I had known what it was before I had him, but I had been mistaken.  I did not know that I could love anything or anyone with as much ferocity as I loved that little boy.  I never knew that the word "Mommy" could sound like the most beautiful word in the english language when it was spoken with love.

Gabe was a gift.  He was a gift that we only had for a few years, but whose presence touched so many so deeply.  He taught us love.  After the accident our family and friends rallied together.  At the time of the accident, the twins were only 5 months old.  They all took shifts caring for the kids.  Neighbours came with food, strangers came with food and money.  We learned about our community, and where we stood in it.  Gabe taught me about being a mother.  I try to have more patience now ( I do not always succeed), I try to do today what I could put off until tomorrow, because I now know that no one knows what tomorrow brings.

This February 2, he would be 17.   It is almost unimaginable to think about a 17 year old Gabe.  I see his friends out driving their cars, or in one case his motorcycle.  For the first few years after his death I used to do the wonder game.  I wondered if he would like girls yet, I would look at the tallest boys in his class and wondered how much taller than them he would have been ( he was the tallest kid in his class.  His dad/ my husband is 6'4), I wondered who his friends would have been.  I no longer play the wonder game because that is so beyond wonder for me now.  Some of his friends still keep in touch, and it is a blessing to have them in our lives.  Gabe was a blessing in our lives.

Happy Birthday Gabe.

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