I look at my youngest and think about how fast time is flying and how quickly his toddler days are going by and my brain flashes back to when he was an infant. I think about how confused and tired and overwhelmingly sad I was during that time. Being widowed while pregnant was such an enormous blessing and a curse. Being pregnant when I lost B meant that I had no choice but to take care of myself. I couldn’t drink, or smoke or take a handful of pills. I had to consider the life growing inside of me and if for no reason than that I was blessed. I shudder to think of the dark tunnel I could have slid down had I not been. The curse of course was going through an entire pregnancy and birth without B.
I used to tell people that your body can only handle a certain amount of pain before it passes out. I think our hearts and souls are built much the same way. We can only feel a certain amount of devastation before numbness sets in. I operated in pain, numbness and the joy my boys gave me for the first year and a half. I did only what was absolutely necessary and spent the rest of my energy mothering. That was it. I had a village of friends and family who supported me when I couldn’t go any further. And when I could I’d drape myself in the cloak of numbness and move forward.
B2 has Byron’s eyes. He looks like me but when I look into his eyes Byron is staring back. BJ is Byron in almost every other way… his hands and feet. The way he holds his head, his smile. His sensitivity and walk. I see Byron every time I look at my boys and I wonder… if he somewhere he’s looking at me and I pray he’s proud of me and of the decisions I’ve had to make alone. On this day 4 years ago my life was still amazing. I was finally pregnant with B2 after trying off and on for almost a year. I’d started a new job downtown, closer to home, and BJ was the apple of both of our eyes. I had no idea that in less than two weeks… my world and BJ’s world was going to be torn apart.
I miss the days of bliss. I miss the days of love. I miss Byron and the way he shielded me and protected me and loved me so completely. It will be 4 years on the 5th. And I often wonder if I’m too damaged. If I’ll ever have even a piece of the happiness and love that I used to have. Will the boys ever have a man they can look up to and emulate? I feel like we deserve it just as much as anyone else. And my boys deserve more than just me. They didn’t deserve to become another pair of black boys growing up in a house with a single mother. Yet here we are.