There is so much that I want to say, and yet so few words come to mind.
Two years ago (from yesterday), a precious little was born. Due to many health complications, he had to be delivered at 29 weeks (with all the health problems that he had, this was the only possible way to save his life). After a week of fighting through it as best he could, the sweet little passed away. This little was my nephew, who I only got to meet once.
Although it was a heartbreaking day, I hope I never lose my memories of the morning I met him. As my wonderful, courageous, and tender-hearted eldest sister held her precious child, I reached my hand out to hold his, knowing that it would likely be the only time I could ever embrace him in any way. I didn't ask to hold him. He was so small and fragile, and moving him could cause him stress and further problems, and I also didn't want to take away any of the time that my sister had to hold her beautiful baby.
The second my thumb touched the palm of his hand, his tiny fingers curled around it in a faint but firm grip. I say "faint but firm" because he didn't have much strength at all, but his little hand seemed to be latched as tightly as was possible around my thumb. I don't think I will ever be able to perfectly describe the emotion of that moment. All I know to say is that it was overpowering, beautiful, and sad.
It may be difficult to understand for some, but I miss him. I get to hear my other nieces and nephews laugh and cry, I get to read them stories and sing songs with them, and I get to know who they are. All I know about sweet little Gideon is that he fought his many trials so hard, he seemed to love and find comfort in music, he was and is dearly loved... and that I got to hold his hand one magical time.
A family that might not realize my love for them recently and unexpectedly lost a little, as well. I only met him a few times, but I know that he was a sweet little boy who also was and is dearly loved by his family. And I know that his favorite color was red, and that I plan to wear red on Friday in order to honor him in some way.
I feel as though I have been watching the world through grey-tinted glasses, as of late. This time of year will always mean a bit of sadness and heartache for my family (and theirs). I have, unfortunately, been a less than bright force in the world around me for a while. I ought to be cherishing the precious moments, and making brighter the world around me (and seeking to improve the lives of those around me). Whether a lifetime lasts only the span of a week, or four years, or twenty-eight years, or a hundred years... What seems to matter most is the way in which we show love and are loved in return.
Gideon's willingness to hold on seemed to be the gift he had the power to give to his family. My sister, her husband and her other children were devastated by the loss of his precious life, but they were so grateful that they had time with him at all.
The immediate grip of his tiny little fingers around my thumb felt like his gift for me; it felt as though he knew I wanted to hug him tightly and he did what he could with the strength he had to "hug" me, as it were. His sweet little spirit touched so many hearts in the short time we were blessed by his presence.
As I drove toward home on the day I met Gideon (which was, as it happened, also the day he passed away), the song "He Lives in You" from The Lion King Broadway cast recording began to play. So many of those words resonated with me as I drove, and cried, and listened to the words:
"he lives in you, he lives in me..."
"he watches over everything we see..."
I want to believe that these precious little ones are guardian angels, who are now watching over their loved ones. They are still in everything we see, because they have blessed us with their light.
I wish comfort and love to anyone who has suffered/is suffering a loss. I wish to be a person who brings some comfort and/or joy into the lives of others. And of course, I wish we didn't have to say goodbye. Life is precious, and fleeting, and we may never understand it.
And I wish I was a person who knew how to love more unabashedly and bravely. As it is, I simply try to make people happy, but sometimes I don't succeed.
Again, this family might not realize that I love them dearly and am grateful for their part in my life. But I hope they know that they are loved, and I hope that they are able to be comforted during this heartbreaking time.
I'll be wearing red on Friday.