Archive for February, 2011

October 6, 2004

// February 1st, 2011 // 2 Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

I woke up blue this morning. Steve’s absence has cast a pall over the joy I bathed in just yesterday. My limbs were heavy as I showered and dressed for my trip to San Diego to visit Marisa and Ethan at the hospital. During the thirty minute drive, alone in my car, I started to cry. The closer I got to the hospital the harder tears came. I’ve gotten pretty good at functioning while I have a good cry. I can sob, eyes wide open, mind alert to the cars around me on the freeway.

Once I found a parking spot on the quiet road behind the hospital I sat in my car and just let loose. I wanted to go in to see them, to cuddle my new grandson but I was overwhelmed with the sadness of this powerful first. The first baby born to the family since Steve’s death. Nick’s baby. Sitting in my car, tears running unchecked down my cheeks, I imagined how different this day would be with Steve here. Even the little boy’s name would be different. Steve’s first son is Nicholas, after his brother. For years Nick and Marisa planned to name their first son after Steve. But right now the family is still too raw to introduce another Steve into our midst. And such shoes to fill! How could Nick do that to his son? The time isn’t right…yet.

How Steve would have reveled in this event, sharing the experience of fatherhood with his brother! He was such a doting uncle to Kirstie, Kyle, and Josh. I know he also would have automatically loved Ethan, the baby of his lifelong best friend, his brother. And how Steve would have razzed Nick!

But I knew I was wasting precious time sitting in my car creating artificial memories. It was time to go in and enjoy my family. I sucked in a deep, ragged breath, mopped my face, and blew my nose. I started the long walk to their room, one foot in front of the other, getting a little easier, a little quicker, with every step.

When I arrived Marisa kissed Ethan’s forehead before passing her snuggly wrapped bundle to me. I pulled him close, involuntarily anointing him with fresh tears. We settled into the chair near the window, sunlight bathing this new little piece of our future.
My finger traced Ethan’s ear, jaw line, and nose as I examined the small details of my newest grandchild. Crooning to him and visiting with his mom my sadness was crowded out by new joy.
Two hours later I walked through my front door, memories of my own children bouncing around in every room. And I was smiling.

Yes.

A new baby.

A new beginning.