Bryars and Cale - May 2010
But then that was no longer the plan.
Yesterday was Bryars' first birthday. A few weeks before that, also the day I came home to this, I received an invite in the mail to Bryars' birthday party. Granted I was already on edge because of the mess Roscoe created, but the invite made me cry as it reminded me of something I never got to do with Cale. And then I cried some more because of the guilt I felt for letting my grief overshadow the happiness of the occasion.
But the other day as I talked to Deb on the phone and apologized for not sending Bryar's birthday gift in a timely manner (ie - my lazy ars still needs to scoot on over to the post office) Deb was the one who started crying. She told me how Bryars' milestones are bittersweet for her because Cale should be hitting them just a couple months before her, that we should be going through this together. She told me how baby Cale is often talked about in their house and always thought of and his picture is in their nursery, looked at every day.
These are the things - the thoughts, the words, the kindness, that literally mean everything to me. To be reminded that Cale is never forgotten - it's what I crave as his mother.
Maybe I am redundant. Maybe I convey that sentiment too much. But at the same time, as his mother I feel I can't stress that enough. I once talked about this with my sister. And she said something that really stuck with me. She said it'll always be my job to acknowledge him and to talk about him because I'm not just his mother - I'm his advocate.
At work I have recently been dealing with the parent of one of my Soldiers. (Just a little background - all of the Soldiers in my unit are being discharged from the Army - most of whom should be). But every once in a while we get guys who genuinely want to be in the Army, but just don't meet entrance standards for one reason or another, usually for a medical reason. The father I've been in touch with clearly just wants what is best for his son. He wants him home and wants to know what can be done to make this happen as soon as possible. He wants to know that his son is ok, and wants to take care of him. I don't blame him and I don't get annoyed by his constant phone calls. Because he's doing what a good parent should - he's caring and he's trying everything he can to be his son's advocate from afar.
I'm trying to do the same.
And I will for the rest of my life.