Today I had the privilege to have lunch with a close widow sister who has been by my side since right after I lost Mitch. I was standing in the restaurant, waiting to be seated before she arrived and a young woman walked in with the cutest little boy I’ve just about ever seen. The woman was tall and blonde, and she had a slight resemblance to me, and the little boy looked a lot like my Matthew. He grinned up at me and I couldn’t take my eyes off his cuteness. Next thing I knew, the mom walked over to the large windows that faced the street and pointed and told her son, “look, Daddy is here”. He laughed and smiled and jumped up and down as his father approached the front door. As he walked through the doors the little boy squealed with delight as the father rushed over to pick him up. After embracing his son he walked over to mom and gave her a kiss and told her he loved her.
What a beautiful moment to witness, and yet what a bittersweet pit it left in the bottom of my stomach. It’s just one of those moments you would never deprive anyone on this earth from having, but a moment that takes your breath away, and leaves you feeling so deeply sad and alone. I would literally give anything in my life to give my kids that moment, a moment that so many take for granted every single day.
I am not alone in this new normal. I have a wonderful man in my life. My kids have so much support, love, and endless fatherly figures. What my kids don’t have is Mitch, and no amount of good in our lives ever gives my kids that moment back. No amount of good allows my kids to jump up and down and run into their daddies arms. That reality hits me hard now and again and there is nothing to be said or done, nothing fixes it, it just is what it is.
The moment passes and I resume my new normal but for a short time I allow myself some pity, some sadness, and some deep reflection. Tonight I am back to feeling grateful for all we do have that makes me one extremely blessed widow.
Being a parent is a gift like no other, and if you are lucky enough to have a whole family unit, or even a broken family unit, and both parents want to be part of your kiddos life, please move heaven and earth to make that possible. Embrace the little things, cherish the chaos, and remember that the lightness in a child’s eyes when he sees his mother or father is a gift that many would give their last dollar to have. Some things really are priceless.