Today is Gabe's 18th birthday, it's a tough one. I was trying to push my way through the day juggling my feelings of sorrow with my outward attitude toward my living children. That's the good and the bad of it all. I want to lie in my bed and cry and miss my first baby boy, but I am also the mother of 4 living children who need to have me clear and present in their lives today and everyday. They know that missing Gabe makes me sad, but to be honest children are self-centered little creatures, what they really care about is "How does that effect me?"
I am was in the pique of this roller coaster of feelings when I came across the above quote from one of my facebook friends. So often people post pictures of cats doing funny things or dogs doing funny things and people all seem to love them and re-post them, they are not my cuppa. I generally tend to scroll down them and quietly roll my eyes (sorry to my friends who post these funny animal pictures/ quotes). I was scrolling when this one caught my eye, and pierced my heart.
On this day where all I feel is pain, in what has been stolen from me, I needed this reminder. Instead of torturing myself with "what might have been", I need to think about what a gift Gabriel Christopher Haynes Lindsay was. This day 18 years ago I held in my arms a tiny pink promise. He was the promise of a new and beautiful life. Instead of focusing on the negative, I should look at what a gift that child was.
I truly believe with all of my heart that there are no accidents in life, that everything has a ripple, even if we never know about it. Horrible, terrible things happen, not to punish, but to force us to learn. When you look at horrific tragedies you can see the tragedy, or you can look beyond that and see the goodness that has blossomed from them. It helps me to deal with the senseless tragedies that we see everyday. These to me are still tragedies but also they are catalysts for change. When I step away from my grief, I can see this in my own life.
Gabriel came into this world to change it. He did not cure cancer, nor end world poverty or any wars. He came into this world to give love. I would like to think that because of his love, because of him this world is a better place, I know that mine is. I would like to think that Gabriel touched the lives of everyone he met. I would like to think that because of his death the parents of his friends hugged their children a little tighter, were a little more thankful for their children. I would like to think that this thankfulness changed some of their parenting styles, and made them live more in the moment. None of us ever know the full extent of the ripples our lives have caused.
Today I needed a reminder that Gabe is not about his death, he is about his life. I cannot change the past. If I could get into a time machine and change it all I would, but I can't. I have to live in the now. In the now I know that my world is a better place because I had the privilege of being Gabe's mother, even if it was just for almost 10 years. I know that his brother and his sisters have benefited by having him as their big brother, even Elly who never got to meet him. They benefit because I know that I don't have a second chance with these kids, I need to live in the moment. I need to check my anger and up my love. I know that childhood is a blink of an eye, but that blink of an eye effects the rest of their lives. All of these things Gabriel taught me.
Today is the day that my little miracle came into my life and changed me forever. Happy Birthday Gabe.