Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ten Years

It has been ten years since I watched Timmy twinkle with excitement and call me Mama in a way that only he could.  "Mmmmaammma!"  That big personality never got to be matched by his size.  I got to celebrate two birthdays with him.  Two.  Yes, I am counting the day he was born.  How could I not?  He came early and fast.  Thank god, because we needed to savor every moment. We were blissfully unaware that time was not on our side.

I had a strange intuition about Timmy.  It was like we had met before his birth.  I remember his blue eyes and charisma were expected, even familiar.  Perhaps our friends and family had a sense too because they were immediately invested in being a part of his life.  He was not just our child and that was evident the day he he was born.  The hospital room was flooded with those anxious to cradle this little bundle.  It was bliss.

To this day I draw strength from the love and memories supplied by so many dear people whom were present in Timmy's life.  They laughed with us during his bouts of deep, guttural laughter in response to silly exchanges from his siblings, anxiously offered arms to snuggle him with at games, parties, school functions and gatherings, celebrated his milestones, and treasured him with us.  He used to ask for all of you, knew your names, and squealed when we approached your homes.

Today I am remembering so many precious things about Timmy.  I still can't speak of him without crying.  That's okay, it means someone else is thinking of him too, speaking his name, and sharing.  The years I have had to live without kissing that sweet face have changed me.  I have many quirks and triggers that make life a little harder at times.  I hate being asked how many children I have.  I have FIVE!  However, I often lie just to save myself the torment of the questions that ensue when I offer the truth.  Inwardly, I silently apologize to Timmy.  I feel like I have been physically kicked when people use the word "death" with his name.  He had many things, however I loath to hear his beautiful name linked with a word that signifies such loss, pain, and suffering.  I still struggle when visiting certain places he loved.  It just doesn't feel right to return without him.  I will never again return to the weeping willow tree in Murrayhill where he ran, laughed and played with his siblings and good friends, Ruby, Lucy, and Grace.  It was Talia's 10th birthday and they were all so free, running around the lake and watching him call out to the ducks.  None of us knew he would be gone ten days later.

Today, I am reflecting on a moment when I experienced pure joy.  I remember looking down at Timmy in his stroller as he chattered away.  Thank goodness he was an early talker so I could hear his voice speak the names of the people he adored.  He was so full of life and the sun was shining down on that soft spray of blonde hair.  We had just dropped off the kids at the bus stop and I felt so overwhelmed by how blessed my life was.  That was two days before everything changed.  Today, my joy is different.  It is veiled and no longer innocent and pure.  In it's place is a gratitude that words cannot express.  I am grateful for the 16 months and 27 days I had with Timothy Max Quatraro, my family and our friends.  Timmy opened our eyes and taught us how much good there is in this world and how fragile life is.

Today, please find some pure joy, do something kind, hug a little tighter, and think of our boy.

I love you to heaven and back sweet boy.

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