Hope in the Air

I was standing at the gate, holding my ticket.  I was flying to get Owen.  I hadn't spoken to him since before Logan passed.  I hurt, worried that he felt neglected.  People were rushing, I was rushing.  I watched as people filed in.  There were babies everywhere.  I was looking for the sharp pain.  I was looking for the expected hurt of seeing chubby hands, instead I found joy.  I was thankful for the rolls and coos that are so sweet with a baby... But the other part of me felt like a creep.  I couldn't quit watching them.  I wanted to beg their parents to get a SIDS monitor.  How creepy would that be?  "Hey, your baby is so sweet.  You should get a SIDs monitor... I would know."  I guess I shouldn't...  I'll just pray for whoever is sitting next to me and think about how great it will feel to hold Owen.  My first born and first love.

I ended up sitting next to an older lady, which is what I prefer on flights.  They usually smell nice and you can learn a lot.  Boy, I got what I was hoping for.  We exchanged pleasantries and small talk.  She asked where I was flying and why.  I told her I was picking up my son and would be flying back to Nevada the next day (Sunday).  "I bet you have so much fun stuff planned for as soon as he gets back!" she gleamed.  I sucked in my breath.  No, nothing fun.  I get to tell him his little brother is dead.  I get to tell him his best buddy, the one he had so many hopes and dreams for, was gone forever on Earth.  No, there is no fun. I smiled and said we had family in town and a few things to do, but mostly we were planning on staying at home.  The look in her eyes looked familiar, and she asked what our plans were for Monday...

How do you answer that?  People take death in so many ways...  "We have our baby's memorial service on Monday."  She nodded.  She asked if my son knew, I said we were waiting until we got home.  She nodded again.  After a long silence she turned to me and said, "I lost a baby also.  She was six weeks old.  I do not know your pain, but I know my pain.  It will grow into something beautiful if you let it.  I have also buried my daughter when she was 12 years old, and my son when he was in the service. I now only have four out of my seven children.  Let the pain grow into something beautiful.  Don't ever stop talking about them.  Don't ever be ashamed.  They live on through your love.  Do you have any pictures of your little one?"

Three of seven?  How can I imagine.  I sat there stunned, but my heart was filled.  Another person, a stranger, had humbled herself to share her grief with me, then to help grow my joy by sharing stories of Logan.  I showed her pictured and told stores of Logan, and my other two, and she did the same.  By the time the plane was descending we were laughing.  I thanked her for her wisdom, and letting me talk.  She thanked me for reminding her of the joys and stress of little ones.  We laughed and parted ways.   I knew then what the look was in her eyes and I wondered if there were women who saw it in mine.

After two more flights, I landed in Maryland.  I was nervous because my ex-husband had offered to pick me up and give me a ride to my hotel.  We have gotten better in recent years, we laugh and talk when either of us are picking up Owen, but I can't honestly say we are friends again, but we are close (I hope).  When he heard the news of Logan's death, he reached out to us.  I would much rather have Logan, but I am happy that maybe he helped build a bridge for a better relationship, in turn helping Owen.

The car ride was a bit awkward, but not in the ex-spouse kind of way.  He was concerned for us and Owen.  He had questions, but we had both agreed that Owen should hear it when he got home.  He would start to say something and catch himself then get quiet.  It was a short drive and as soon as he parked the car, he handed a game to Owen and asked him to wait in the car so we could talk.  He asked how we were doing and what he could do.  We talked and laughed a little. It was good.  Please bless him also, God.

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