Sometimes it takes a 14 month old boy to bring true knowledge to your life.
My friend and c0-worker, Beth, & her husband, John, treated us to dinner at Applebees. Afterward we stopped by work to visit briefly with my c0-workers. I was doing fine till I looked at my desk and saw the pics of John.
This one almost brought me to tears-
John had so much love for his son and it was clearly evident in all of the photos of them. It just breaks my heart that Nathaniel is too young to remember his father and that John isn’t here to watch Nathaniel’s life.
All of the sudden, the hole in my heart ached. I managed to put on a good front and probably nobody around me even noticed.
It was bittersweet stopping by work. It was nice to see my co-workers, but other emotions were there as well. Loneliness. Fear. Hesitation. Nathaniel stayed close to me and was a “baby parasite” for most of the visit. That in itself brought out a whole new dimension of loss that I’ve been trying to prepare myself for. The loss of being able to have a parent stay with our child. That was something that John and I– especially John– really believed in. He said many times, “a parent is the best person to raise their child.” We fought to maintain that and pretty much had been able to. However, now I’m a single parent who needs a job to support myself and my child and I don’t have an option to bring my child to work. I wish I could find a work at home option that could pay the bills.
When I left the building, I saw another friend and stopped to chat. Nathaniel made a game of walking circles around my legs. So, on the way to our car, I took his hand and he happily took baby steps… 2 or 3 to my one. He fell, so I picked him up and carried him.
Little Nathaniel, brought an epiphany to me- I thought to myself, “Baby steps, Mary. Baby steps.” and every now and then, it’s okay to let somebody else “carry” you.
So, tonight I made it to work and stayed a few minutes and didn’t externally fall apart. I still have some time to mentally prepare myself for my return to work. In 29 minutes, I will have made it past our first anniversary apart and done so with roses and many more smiles than tears.