Last night I watched as Jack & Jessa went thru their goodnight ritual. Many moons ago, when Isaac was very young, I would say “dont let the be bugs bite you” and in his little learning dialect he would say “you eeder” and then, he started to say “dont wet da beep bop boot boop” and i would say “you eeder” it stuck– and then when Abby and then Jack came along, they carried it on, too. As did many of our friends, even some couples without children. So, Jack has said this to me each night before we go to sleep. And last night he said it to his mama. And he got up from lying down, kneeling on his bed, to hug her. He held her so tight. He grabbed her face and kissed her and said “i love you so much!”.
And that is when it struck me– really kicked in– no one can ever love me as Isaac did. I have thought of all kinds of things since he has left us– the pretty the ugly, the sweet the melancholy, his future & mine, our beautiful relationship, how much i loved him, how good a boy he was– to all, to me.
But in a flash last night the seams holding me to the fabric of the universe were shredded– that kind of love can never be repeated. All my mama of boys friends have heard me tell them after the birth of their boys “there is nothing like the way a boy loves his mama” Isaac gifted me with a pure love– a perfect uncorruptable love– even during the ‘challenging’ teen years when most are pulled out of our orbit, Isaac chose to remain stitched to my side.
He often said, as he became a young man and saw that other kids didnt always speak highly of their folks, that he was so lucky he never forgot he lived inside of me for 9 months and we were pretty much the same person for awhile and he just liked me. What kinda kid does that, right? My kinda kid.
The thing about that kid? He made me a better person. He made me value kindness and love and togetherness. He helped me everyday. He was a kid i could be an intuitive parent with. When I was pregnant and scared of being a good enough mom, my own dear mom said “God only gives us what we can handle” and I have always said “God must not have thought i could handle much because he gave me the easiest kid”. Isaac was easy to love. Easy to please. Easy going. Most challenges I faced were internal struggles, conceding control, cultivating patience & awareness. Becoming gentle. Overcoming doubt and bouts of ‘situational depression’. Isaac was my benevolent teacher in all these things. His impact on me is so vast, it will never leave me.
For so long, I was focused on him only– with regard to these qualities of character. But as Isaac shared these with the world around him, it called me to action, to do the same.
Isaac was, in the words of his dear friend, mentor, coach, principal, Matt Stapleton, “a man built for others”. He really just possessed a rare and precious gift of compassion and empathy– while also the funniest person Ive ever known– and I love funny, I seek it out in most relationships that stick– my husband and two closest girlfriends are hilarious! But Isaac spoke my language–
And so it is.
I wonder how I might feel if Isaac had passed away any other way. Would I question myself so much? Would I feel as sad? It seems ridiculous to think it would be easier, as if grief and loss have a gauge. My therapist says when a parent loses a child they question everything– but losing a child to suicide, it is increased– so in that way, the pain may be different. But I think of parents who may have been arguing w their child when they die– or parents who dont get the goodbye Isaac gave me–and even though I couldnt get to him fast enough to stop him– he gave me a peace that im certain others dont have. This is something. But I think it’s just a distraction really– a way to try to fit the missing puzzle piece that will never be found. So with all the strength I have I will try to simply remind myself of who Isaac was– and who I am because of him– and trust that I was his beloved, if imperfect, mama whom he loved perfectly.
“What we were, we are,
What we had, we have
A conjoined past imperishably present…” (Author Unknown)”