I want to pretend he's still here.
Ignore the reality.
I want to grab sunscreen and a little hat and his bottle filled with water so he won't dehydrate and lug him along to swim lessons, too.
I want to cover his ears at the fireworks.
I want to hush the kids so they won't wake him when it's that time of day for naptime.
I want to mash up some banana and see what he thinks and watch him spit it out.
I want to carry him out to the waterslide and watch the kids go down and let him feel the sprinkles on his toes.
I want to feel his chubby little self against my skin and kiss his head and cuddle him close.
I want to lay out his clothes on Saturday night, too.
I want to interrupt Friday night pizza prep to get him up from his nap.
I want to go check on him at night and pat his little bottom and whisper . . .sleep tight. . . see you in the morning. . . Mommy loves you. . . one more time.
I want to tell the 2011 camp registration lady that I have another child when she asks, just two kids?
I want to scream noooo when someone says Is everybody here?
I want to tickle him and hear his little chuckle.
I want to buy his little outfit for the cousin pictures we've been planning.
I want to hear him say Daddy.
I want to pretend he is still here.
But he isn't.
And to ignore the reality means. . .
to ignore this whole process of grief
to falter and fall
to surrender to the darkness
to turn my face away from the other realities that I have never been more sure of:
that Heaven is a real place
that my littlest man is there
that death cannot, cannot be the end of life
that God carries us when we can't go on.
I'm so thankful that I do not have to pretend that Gabe is with Jesus.