Hi Baby. I love you. God, I love you. I only have access to Earth’s meager, pale words and they will never be sufficient enough for you. I will always love you, Caleb, but you will never know just exactly how much. How do I show you I love you now? Not a second goes by that I’m not thinking about you and wishing I could be with you. I love you more than this world can contain and miss you so fiercely I’m not sure how I haven’t ended up sitting in a corner sucking my thumb, rocking back and forth.
There are so many questions and still zero answers. I was made with a child’s soul but you were born with a heavenly one. You knew how to read me better than anyone and understood exactly what I told you without ever saying a thing. These conversations will always be my favorite but I still wish for so many more. I could just turn my face to yours and you would have exactly the right look to make me laugh hysterically no matter what kind of day I was having. Sometimes you would try to keep a straight face but you couldn’t hide the sparkle in your blue eyes. I saw it and inched closer until it made its way into mine. Your contagious joy was reflected back to you and neither one of us could try to pretend there was anything but bliss being passed back and forth. How do I see your sparkle light up the room now? How do I send it back to where it belongs?
Three years is too long to have to live without you. How many more are still left? I hate today. I hate it with everything in my heart, soul and beyond. It feels like the knot in my stomach is being kicked and stabbed and then stomped about over and over as I try to distract myself from what is still incomprehensible. I still don’t believe it. This can’t really be true. How is this even possible? Yet it is. I was there. No matter what I do, I know what happened yet it’s still such a massive, overwhelming shock I can’t comprehend. It feels like if I didn’t hold myself back I would vomit everywhere. It’s the most brutal beating straight to the gut and with no one to curse or throw my punches into.
There are so many words going through my head that you don’t know. Three years ago today was a day full of people who deserved a lot of punches to the gut. So many ways you didn’t get the treatment you deserved and I have a long list of regrets as well. Did we make all the right split-second decisions you would’ve wanted? What did I do to have earned so much pain?
I’m used to fighting. I’ve done it my entire life. Still, this is different. Being one of the younger ones growing up, I knew even if I wasn’t going to win the battle, I would still kick and punch or claw in every direction so they would also have some of their own blood to clean. I got resourceful in using whatever I could so maybe they would think twice about picking the next fight with me. I thought I’d reached a point in my life where the worst fights of my life were over but I was wrong.
Every day is a struggle chock full of pulling up my boot straps, self-pep talks, and countdowns just to make it through. Most people would never understand all the little things people in our shoes have to will themselves to do. They have the luxury of not knowing that when your heart and soul are no longer together, it is something you can’t fight chasing. I wrote about a mask when I was 18 but I think most people are so used to seeing it that it greatly upsets them when they catch a glimpse of my real face.
They say it’s okay to be happy and live my life but they have absolutely no idea how hard I am already working to do that for you. I am not the same person you knew but I’m forcing myself deeper than is even healthy and still counting on your signs to survive. You deserve for me to show up for you but I’m tired. Maybe you heard me tell Daddy, but I want you back. I want you in my arms. I want to be with you. Safe. Not like I found you.
There are fluffy words I hear and hate for making the worst day of our lives sound like something it isn’t. An anniversary is something to be celebrated but May 2nd was anything but a celebration. What do I call the best day of your life but the absolute worst for Daddy and me? How does my heart still beat after trying to make yours start again? There are some things too horrific to relive but not having you here is a separate kind of torture incomparable to anything else. There are things that not even my “black Nesquik” box with my ashes will know. No one will ever be able to hurt me worse than what I already experience without you in my arms.
You’ve been gone more years now than you were here and that is another dagger.
I can keep myself busier than most humans could sustain and try my hardest to do things I wish you would have the chance to do but it doesn’t matter. What I know and saw will always come back to find me and make my heart race.
Are we there yet? Are we there yet? How much longer? Where’s my green light. I want you to hear you tell me to “GO!”
All I want is to play, and play, and play. I want to chase you and hear your high-pitched laughter. I want to kiss you and have your wet hair straight from your bath nuzzled right under my chin. I would read you any book or sing you any song over and over if I could have you back. I would take any ear infection or strep you could bring home and stay up with you all night as many nights as you needed me to sit with you and make you feel better. I just miss you more than I can bear.
I know every normal person thinks their kids hung the moon but sometimes I do wonder if you really were too pure for this cruel world. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason but people love telling me that tidbit in order to make it somehow negate this kind of terror in their minds. I hope you know there will never be a reason in this world or the next that would ever be good enough to have to lose you.
I can tell touching stories about you and even show people a video of you doing things you shouldn’t have been old enough to do, but they will never truly understand how special you will always be. You ARE my gift, my light and my treasure and all of us still left on this planet are sorely missing out.
So many people have commented at how you have your little hand on my face in the picture after the last race day you ever got to witness here. It’s not something I ever thought twice about when you were here, but it’s another layer of missing you. You can so purely see how happy we were together, and your toddler hand extending love is just one more pint-size example of the most affectionate little soul I will ever know. Caleb Baby, how do I reach through the veil and make you laugh now? How do I hug you and never let you out of my arms and eyesight again? We are not on level playgrounds anymore but then again, I knew we never were. I’m trying so hard to do things FOR you but do you really get to experience them through me? Is what you have so much better that you just accept the intention for what it is and then keep leaping to your next social, trampoline party?
You were only 2, my little booger bear. How did you know so much?
Sometimes all the doubts come flooding in and I don’t even know what to believe anymore. So often I think we weren’t good enough for you. We couldn’t be as perfect as you so maybe God took you back. I feel like I’m going mad being denied over and over what was once so simple. I loved being your mommy and I wish I knew what stole you away from me. I still wish so badly I was there with you. I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you left us and I’m sorry all of me is not with you now either.
I can fight like hell swinging with all my might but healing does not exist for the hole that is just as bloody and raw as it was 3 years ago. Some days I’m out of words. I’m numb and there is nothing left. You are in every thought and every bit of self-control but I’m worn out. Truthfully, I wish I didn’t have any words because when I see you, none will be needed. They never were. I don’t understand and I never will.
Your great grandma is going to be 95 in two weeks and all I can think about is that I don’t want to have to wait that long.
I love you. I miss you. Three years feels like three hundred but so does every second without you. I wrote it on my arm the other day just to remind myself but “so help me, God.” So help me, Baby Boy too. I still need you. I wasn’t finished.
Caleb, help me let your life win. You are always worth it.
I love you and I always will.