Sunday, August 8, 2010

Remembering Something Beautiful About Loss

There they are...

Both of them.   In a golden sunset to rival all others.  Just as I remember them.

Last night while brushing my teeth I noticed something on the wall.  Something...icky.  When you have multiple sons it's not too unusual to encounter things of questionable sanitary status, so I wasn't shocked or anything.  But was...gross.  I thought about how many times I've suggested that boogers needed to NOT be wiped on a wall.  Especially not the bathroom wall when only inches away sat a roll of perfectly nice toilet paper.    Apparently one of my lads likes to absently dig for treasure whilst on the toilet...and tends to wipe the remains on the closest wall.   Whomever he is...he keeps forgetting to use the available toilet paper.

According to my sons, they do not do this.  None of them believes that they are "the one."  So...we must have a booger picking ghost...or something.

Anyway, when I saw the smear I got out my tea-tree spray to clean it up and I felt myself tearing up.  Simon and Alexander won't ever wipe booger smears on the wall.  They won't ever look up at me in complete innocence declaring that they would never wipe a booger on the wall.  It was then that I noticed it.  .  .When you've lost someone...they become...perfect.  They have no flaws....nothing.   Only the beauty of love surrounds them.  Golden...warm...always wanted....treasured.  For all time.  You never sigh over the chore of cleaning up your dead child's booger.  NO!  In fact, all you want in the world is to be able to wipe those damned boogers that SHOULD have been there away, and then hug the little rascal for feigning innocence. 

Carly Marie Dudley from "To write their names in the sand" sent me these photos yesterday...and Jill Alderman added Simon and Alexander to her "Vermont Angels" only days before....

When I look at these expressions of beauty and remembrance, it touches me to think that all I'll ever have to remember of Simon and Alexander are images of poignant beauty.  They will never "accidentally" do anything annoying.  They will never stay up past their bedtime trying to catch glimpses of the movie mom and dad are watching with the snippets of raw humor inappropriate for young viewers.  They will never whine about having to get in the back seat of our car.  They will never draw silly pictures in the columns of their homeschool books when they should be studying.  They will never have a food that they pretend is poison to avoid eating it.  They won't act jealous over how much more ice cream their brother seems to have gotten.  They won't complain.  They won't argue.  They won' anything.  Anything at all.

They will only stay perfect...beautiful...and yearned for.

Remembered in the sky, with flowers, near water of all kinds in all places, riding on the wings of exquisite butterflies....and in golden perfect sunsets.  Sunsets wherein I wish with all my heart that the photo contained the footprints of my babies next to my own where we might have walked hand in hand...if only.

Wiping boogers from the wall no longer seems so irritating.  It's a symbol of the aliveness of the boy that did it.  And even if I never know the culprit, I know there will be a day when the boogers cease.  And I will remember that being a parent was, if nothing else, an adventure.  A big, beautiful, and unexpected adventure.  Wiping boogers from the up vomit...breaking up squabbles of minimal importance...wiping away tears...offering hugs...telling stories....and...even having to say goodbye before you wanted to.  That is being a parent.  We collect memories.  In the end, whether it is cleaning away a booger, chasing away a nightmare, giving a last kiss, or walking in spirit within a golden heavenly field...what else do we have?


  1. So true.. they are just perfect.. Your post reminds me of Monica's song:

    We never know what they may have turned out like, what they'd be doing etc., etc., but damn I wish we did.

    Love the new look to your blog by the way. (((hugs)))

  2. Your blog looks so pretty! The colour and the butterflies, just gorgeous.

    I love this post. I've read it about three times now and I'm still a little lost for words. I suppose I was thinking about how different it is to lose a child from your first pregnancy. In a strange way, I didn't really know what I'd lost when G died. It is something that reveals itself to me heartbreakingly slowly.

    But when you lost Simon and Alexander you must have known, to some extent, what you were losing. And that just brings me to my knees. Because you knew about the 'boogers on the wall' aspects on motherhood. In all its aliveness and beauty and ickiness all rolled up into one.

    I still can't really articulate what I want to say. The final passage of this post is heart stopping. You are right, all we can do is collect memories. Because it isn't really about us. It's about them. x


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