Feel like I should preface this with a note that I do not want phone calls or texts and that I'm not going to harm myself.
Hi Baby. I love you. I miss and love you more than I can ever possibly convey. I hope that even if you are traveling further into all the places I can’t know about until I’m finally finished here, you can still feel how much I love you. I do see all the signs you are sending but there is still doubt if it is really you. I want to believe these and I know sometimes I really do, but the other part of my brain still wants all the synapses to deliver the hard proof directly into my soul so I can really feel it even if I have trouble believing with my eyes.
Do I just see these and want it to be you so badly that I am willing to trust them? Am I just attuned to notice more things now than before or would those perfectly-timed feathers and roses have been there regardless if you left us or not? Please don’t leave me. My heart is squeezed so tightly missing you. I’m completely overwhelmed and depleted in every way. Another unfolded pile of clothes that will sit in baskets for weeks, stacks of well-intentioned projects abandoned on every flat surface, and plants showing signs that we aren’t capable of tending to their basic needs either. Life keeps ticking by even though ours stopped when you left this world. It’s truly not fair. What a huge disrespect for time to keep moving without you.
I’ve said it before but it is even truer today. Doesn’t the sun know you aren’t here anymore? How dare it still shine? Don’t the birds realize your sweetest face is still not here to kiss? Why do they still go about singing, fluttering, taking leisurely wide-winged rides, and floating idly in sync with the breeze? Nature acts as if nothing ever happened but we know the most beautiful, little creation we’ve ever seen is the one so obviously missing from our laps. I curl into a ball and hold tight my knees instead, but my heart and arms ache for you and will continue to be devastated until my last breath is expelled from my lungs. I wish upon every attempted, peaceful painted sky and look for you to guide me through another lonely, paralyzing night. My body is being forced to sleep more, but with that comes panic and sweat, guilt, and horrific sights that play on repeat. Too many thoughts of what happened to you after the small-statured man took you away and all the ruthless events before and after. We didn’t know him or if he was trustworthy being alone with you. We didn’t know if he was a reckless driver or had evil intentions. However, we also weren’t given the typical options that are normally standard protocol in these situations. The knot is raging but I’m trying my best to be okay.
Today is a day I didn’t want to arrive, and tomorrow will be even worse. The minutes and activities all around keep going on like I’m inside a terrible movie that keeps me tense and cringing. I still can’t believe this is really our life and that this world that once had the privilege of knowing you fully and completely has now limped by without you for the same span of Earthly intervals. It feels eerily similar to when your first birthday here came without you. I seriously thought the day wouldn’t actually come because that would be far too cruel. Maybe the world would come to an end so we wouldn’t have to stare this milestone right in the eye. But it did and so will this.
I just want to hold you and be with you now. I feel stuck here because I don’t want to go on anymore. So many days my tears cry out to God or whoever else is in the room, “I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to do this anymore.” I rarely tell you these kinds of things in these messages, but I’ve already censored this more than you realize. I just miss you too much, Caleb. You are so easy to love that not having you to kiss with your giggly, affectionate lips or nuzzle under my chin is not something I will ever be used to or “through.” That love is why I stay here and why I also know I owe it to you to tell everyone about you. You deserve a baby book, a memorial, and a functioning non-profit. No one else will do it the way I will, and no one knows all the adorable stories and love the way you so joyfully gave them to me. I promise you all of those things will be complete someday. Truthfully, I still want more than that, Caleb. I just want you back. I want our old life back. I know I’m not supposed to want that. Daddy even says we don’t want you back here, we just want to be where you are, but we were happy here together.
Either way feels like losing. If I live it’s like plowing over you. It’s not the same. No one can really know what you’re like just by telling everyone or showing them your videos. However, if that’s all I have, your love warrants for them to at least know you in that way. People are forgetting that you were here or that our lives are forever changed, but we will never forget you. At least two people at work even asked Daddy how his Father’s Day was this year. Wow.
Last week I visited prisons and my mind has been too wrapped up in other things that I haven’t told you much about that experience. Everyone there was read their rights and told why they were being sentenced, but I still wonder what Daddy and I did to deserve this punishment. As I’ve said before, losing you is a lifetime sentence with no parole.
814 days with you and now 814 without. It’s a truth that makes me want to vomit and never stop. My body is exhausted and yet somehow it hasn’t collapsed into a flimsy pile the way it feels like it should’ve by now. I always said that if you left this world before me, they would have to bury me with you. However, when your worst nightmare comes true, you don’t really get that option. I still don’t have that choice and I’m beginning to wonder if your memorial will ever be complete. I don’t understand how my heart continues beating while no one on Earth can tell me why yours stopped.
I heard recently that you aren’t supposed to say certain things “shouldn’t” have happened because we are supposed to just accept that they do, but apparently, I’m not as enlightened. So, in my lowly imperfect opinion, no, it’s not supposed to be this way. I miss you too much. So many milestones and things I wish for you that you will never have and that I will never get to watch you achieve. It’s summer which means you would be wearing new adorable bathing suit trunks, “wimming” and splashing until you got too cold in the water. I can almost hear your sweet laughter and it makes me hope that heaven has the biggest pool where we never get wrinkled or cold.
Even Daddy has a new bike and I can’t help but think about how I wish you would’ve had a chance to ride one, too. I see the carefree faces of your friends and the other kids getting taller, playing sports, running and pretending, or taking silly pictures on vacation. While I truly love seeing them and feeling an easy connection as “the big girl” just eager to play, I come home so crushed wanting these same things for you, and for us as a family, too. I think about how often I hear parents say things like “stop growing up” or being “heartbroken” that their kids are having another birthday. I know they don’t mean anything by it but I want to tell all of them that it’s not a BAD thing to have their kids long enough in this world to let them grow up. I want to remind them that heartbreak and emotions from another candle on the cake is something Daddy and I would give anything to feel if our special person came back from being missed at every birthday, picture, and dream. The guilt I feel when someone says “I managed to keep them alive again for another year” only makes me repeat in my head “yea, well, I didn’t.” For that, I am sorry, Caleb Lennon. I know everyone says it’s not my fault and that I would’ve moved heaven and Earth if I could’ve saved you, but I still feel like I failed you. They say I won’t get answers in this lifetime, but what if they are wrong? I will never stop trying to figure out why this happened to you and what stole you from us. Your two youngest cousins are now both older than you, but no matter how many days and years pass while I’m still here, you will always be the wisest person I’ve ever met.
I realize this is not a happy message, Caleb, but you should know that despite all of this, you are still inspiring all kinds of joy. I’m sorry Mommy is telling you this kind of truth, but sometimes there are things I have to get out of my head so they don’t put me in a straitjacket and leave me rocking back and forth in the corner of a demented facility. Sometimes this is what I have to do to make it to a day that I’d rather not see. I do it for you, and my little Booger Bear, you are ALWAYS worth it. All my days in this new, foreign territory will be lived for you. Someday I will never count another day that goes by because we will be never be apart again.
I love you with all my heart and soul. Now and forever, Baby Boy.