He always will be - I know this. But it's just different now. Cale was news then. And now. . .well now, there's no new news to share. He's still dead. He still is a heartbreaking story, only most hearts (my own included) have grown bigger and "healed" in some way.
I enjoy getting to share pictures and updates of Finley. I enjoy that there is always something "new" to share. I pray there always will be. Last night Miles was commenting on how crazy it is that Finley just walks everywhere. That it's almost old news. It was big news at the time, but now - well now that's just what he does. He eats lots of the food we eat and he climbs on our furniture and gets haircuts and cuts teeth and does all these things that at one point were new. It was exciting - the novelty of the new things he was doing. But it wears off in a way. Like, I'm not super excited that he's crawling because well, he isn't anymore. Or I'm not crazy impressed that he's sitting up because that's something he's done for a long time now. But . . .he is alive! And the novelty of that will never wear off. Here he is approaching 15 months and I'm still shocked that he is here. That he is doing all these old "news things." But he is. He's here and he's ours and we are just so.very.lucky.
And maybe that's why I miss having just lost Cale. Because the shock of his death hasn't worn off to me. I can run errands and see little boys around his should be age and not have a panic attack. I can laugh and have fun and do normal things. But I am still forever shocked that he didn't make it. That his story is what it is. I guess just as the novelty of Finn's 'aliveness' hasn't worn off, neither has the 'deadness' of Cale.
Sometimes I replay all that happened with Cale. I relive my pregnancy with him and his delivery. I search the past for stories or memories that I've forgotten or haven't yet shared. Because I want there to be something new for him - even two years after his passing. I guess this his how I parent him. This is how I try for him to have a future even though that's impossible.
Before I started typing all this I got a little chilly. (long ago Miles and I made a deal that he can control the temperature settings and I would control the decor of the house. Good deal I think - I just bundle up a lot.) Anyway, I went to go get a sweatshirt and this is the one I grabbed. And it made me smile because of the memories and because it's a part of Cale's story that I haven't shared. At least not with many . . . .
Miles' Uncle is a NYC Cop, hence NYPD
After we learned that Cale's heart had stopped beating, Miles never left the hospital. His brother Daren was still stationed at Fort Benning at the time and he came to the hospital a few times that day/night. I'll never forget the first time he walked in the room. Miles had met him out in the waiting room first. He opened the door for Daren and in he walked. Shaking his head and crying. It was if he was trying to say "I'm so sorry" but he was too shaken up to get any words out. He just walked over and I held out my arms for a hug. And we hugged and cried and I told him it was ok. I didn't mean that what had happened was ok, I meant that it's ok that he was reacting the way he did. I meant that I would somehow come out of this and that somehow we would be ok.
When Daren was killed Miles gave his eulogy. In it he mentioned how heartfelt Daren's reaction to our loss was:
"When my wife Caroline and I lost our son, Daren was the first person to show up at the hospital. He was still covered in sweat and absolutely nasty from playing racquetball, but he held me and we cried together until we couldn't cry anymore. I remember talking to my wife about it - it was like Daren had lost a son, the depths of his empathy and heartfelt emotions were so real and so tangible. If you knew Daren, he always wore his emotions on his sleeve and poured his heart into everything he did." (full eulogy here)
. . . . . . .I tried to get some sleep while we waited for Cale to be born, but would wake up either crying or because of a painful contraction. I remember waking up once and hearing Miles and Daren talking. I don't know how long he had been there - it was at least his second time back at the hospital and he had brought Miles some clothes. Miles asked for a jacket or something because it was cold in the room. Daren had brought him the navy sweatshirt.
And on the night of June 28, 2010 and the wee hours of the morning the next day, Miles held his first born son wearing that navy NYPD sweatshirt. He walked around the room with Cale coddled in his arms, his tiny little head full of dark brown hair, resting on his Daddy's arm.
At some point Miles' returned the clothes he borrowed to Daren. And we didn't think much about it. But then Daren was killed and all his belongings were sent back to his parents, I wondered about that sweatshirt. I wondered if Daren still had it and if it had made it back with the rest of his things. Miles told his Mom to be on the lookout for it, and sure enough she found it. She mailed it to us and it showed up almost two years to the day after Miles' last wore it, holding his son.
. . . . . . .As I was getting ready to wrap this post up (because I think it's plenty long enough - congrats if you've read this far!) Finn woke up. He doesn't usually wake up after he's gone to sleep, but woke up crying and stood up in his crib. So I walked in and picked him up. We sat in the chair and rocked. I was wearing the navy sweatshirt - that his brother once touched. And I just started crying. Tears of sadness and tears of joy - all one in the same. Loving a sweet moment with my second son, and still desperately missing my first. The novelty of their lives still unfathomable.