Getting away to Sacramento was a nice break. It was good to get away and be out of reality for awhile. The usual vacation benefits like not having to do dishes or clean were nice, plus just being in different surroundings. Also, being with my extended family was so soothing and helpful. My two favorite cousins and my two closest aunts each made a point to individually talk with me about Luke and cry with me. They looked at Luke’s pictures and the nursery. They let me know that they love me, they love Luke and they have been praying for us. They took time to grieve with us and pray with us. While we were in California, my uncle who is my mom’s oldest brother and the strong hub of the family, found out he has cancer—multiple myelomas. Another hard time begins. I suggested a family prayer for him while we were all together. We made a big circle and sat or knelt, held hands and took turns praying for him. They included prayers for Josh and I too. I could feel it wash over us. They also cooked for us, bought us meals out, bought me Starbucks, baked brownies, paid for us to get into the California state fair and made me laugh. During all of our time with them, I felt surrounded with love and caring. I have such a wonderful family.
One of the best parts of the trip for me was watching Josh with my cousins’ kids. Several times I looked over at him to see him smiling widely as he watched them. We really aren’t around kids much in our daily lives, so I got to see how good he is with them. He really paid attention to them and was so good with them. I see how he is going to be loving and disciplined. When he lifted her daughter up to look for a ball her brother lost in the hedge, my cousin said “Oh, he has to have a little girl too”. I hope he does, as well as another baby boy. I’ll let God pick which comes first, although I made room in my heart for a baby boy that feels like a hole I’d like to fill.
The love from my family soothed the hurt I felt over Josh’s family not wanting to see the pictures. I thought about asking his dad about it myself and even considering confronting him with an angry statement like “How can you not want to see your only grandson?!”, but when I woke up the next day, the anger had dissipated and I just let it go. They showed us love in their own way. Josh’s dad paid for our airplane tickets to come out there. Josh knew I was upset, so he talked to his grandma separately about the pictures and she said she would like to see them, so he told her we would show her later that night when we got back. But then we didn’t because it was late when we returned. His grandma is 87 and has lost most of her short-term memory so she probably doesn’t remember the conversation. And that is okay. I am thinking I will send an email with a link to the pictures and those who wish to go and look at them can do so. I just have to decide who all I should offer that to. It hurts me to think of anyone thinking anything bad about his pictures because he was already gone when they were taken and he does have some bruising and such, so I would rather it be a choice people make to see them. Josh didn’t look at them until my aunts were looking at them. When I asked him later what he thought, he said he doesn’t like looking at them. I asked if it was because he didn’t like how they looked or because they made him sad. He said “both”.
I think he is beautiful and I like looking at his sweet face. I think he looks like Josh. He looks a little different in the pictures than he did when I saw him because more time had passed. I feel like it didn’t quite capture the baby that I knew. I think his hair looks funny because it had been wet and is kind of fuzzy-looking and sticking out. I wish they had combed it. I wish his hands didn’t look wrinkly and that his little cleft chin showed up better. I wish I knew what his eyes looked like. I wish his outfit didn’t look quite so big on him and that I’d had a chance to put more thought into what he wore. I had started to pack a hospital bag and had laid out a “going home” outfit, not realizing it would be a “this-is-the-only-thing-he’ll-ever-wear” outfit. Since we went to the hospital suddenly a week before he was due, Josh had to rush home and just grab things for both of us. It bothers me that this outfit was just a Wal-mart brand onesie. I picked it because it was light blue with cute stars on it and it was cool for summertime, but I had so many nicer outfits with hats and pants and cute embroidery on the chest and butt.
But I am so thankful to have pictures of him and I love them. I like to imagine kissing his sweet cheeks when I look at them. I know when I meet him in heaven, he will be so handsome and perfect.