Over the past week my Facebook feed has been flooded with back to school photos. Normally I click like and move on my merry way. This year the “today is my first day of first grade photos” are hitting me harder than I’d like. The photos of smiling first graders with carefully packed backpacks are tugging at my heart strings causing me to hit like as I fight back tears. This year is hard, my son his photo is missing in my feed. My Lucia is seven and he should be holding a sign grinning back at me as we wait for the bus to arrive.
There will be no bus pulling into our street. There will be no backpack and schools supplies to purchase. No shopping for clothes and the perfect pair of tennis shoes. No lunchbox to fill and no child to send off to school. My son he died, 7 years ago he died and all of the firsts died with him. Lucia got cheated out of a life time of firsts and moments in the sun.
Part of me wonders if Lucia would have been like me, brilliant with the worlds shortest attention span. ADD is a label I’ve been sporting since I was 7, yes 7 is when I was diagnosed. I have to believe that if Lucia did have it his elementary years would be better than mine. That his teachers would not shy away from teaching him, that they would see and harness his potential. Maybe he would learn cursive, lord knows I couldn’t help him practice because I was never taught. His brilliance is lost to this world, only God knows how bright he is and I pray that one day I’ll find out too.
The other day I watched Sophia and Jack barrel down the sidewalk on their bike/trike and thought “Lucia is missing.” In my mind I could picture Lucia racing Sophia down the street on his batman bike as Jack struggled to keep up shouting “Sissy! Lucia! I see you.” Jack would be the third wheel as Sophia & Lucia raced around the neighborhood. I thought about how Sophia and Jack have no idea that they are missing a cousin and that they got cheated out of a lifetime of fun. When they are older I’ll tell them why Auntie really has four paw prints tattooed on her foot, and that Auntie has two babies in heaven, for now they don’t need to know that babies die.
Babies die. Its a hard and lonely fact. I learned this not once but twice. I got cheated out of a lifetime of firsts with Lucia and Baby E. My babies died before they even got a chance to make an impact on this world. One thing is for certain even though the world will never know them, they changed my world forever and a piece of me will always be in heaven.