I sit here rocking you tonight little one, you who so often just want to lie in your crib to fall asleep. Rocking and singing "Jesus Loves Me" as you slowly settle into my chest, I hold you tight. I am pulling you into me, missing the connection of the womb and of those newborn days. Your legs tuck under your body as you fold into me, bringing your contentment and peace to mingle with all of my frustrations and sorrows, some real and some imagined. Life is hard, and my body, which was thrown out of balance to protect and grow you, magnifies the sorrows and difficulties as it finds its way back to normal.
I want this memory to last, your long lashes falling over sleepy blue eyes and your dark, soft hair brushing my cheek. Already, the memories of your older brothers seem lost. I can look at pictures or a video and see what they were, but I can't really remember them, not really. I remember that Calvin used to lie in our bed in the mornings and point to our eyes and noses and ears, saying the word for each one, as he practiced his vocabulary. I remember that he did it, but I don't remember him doing it. I don't remember what he looked like, what pajamas he was wearing, what his voice sounded like.
My mind is so bad at holding memories. I wonder how many beautiful moments are lost because I have not photographed them or written them down in a book or in this journal I call a blog. So often my mind is not fully in the present and the moment is lost. I can't remember your brothers as babies, I wonder what your newborn days were like, and I can't remember you PopPop, my daddy, as clearly as I once could.
This week we got the news that your great-grandmother has cancer. We have had too much of cancer in our family, too much of the ending of memories before they are made. I had hoped to record some of her memories, I still do, to pass them on to your and your brothers and cousins. But what if I fail? I, who cannot even remember you as you were a few months ago, may not be able to preserve the past that wasn't even mine, though I am a product of it.
So I hold you tightly, as I try to hold the sorrows and joys and memories, knowing that I cannot hold them all. I pray that He who has always been present holds them all, as He holds me and you. And one day, when time slows down, I trust that he will take me back to those sweet memories I cannot recall. May I not only remember them, but see them as He has, with His hand on every moment. Until then, may we both find sweet rest.
Crown Him the Son of God, before the worlds began,
And ye who tread where He hath trod, crown Him the Son of Man;
Who every grief hath known that wrings the human breast,
And takes and bears them for His own, that all in Him may rest.