It was way more painful than I thought it would be.
Everywhere I looked I saw things that reminded me of how things used to be. Puzzles he used to do, trains he used to say "choo choo" for, books he used to "read", crayons sitting unused and coloring books never opened. Even putting away clothes brought back memories, pajamas he wore last Christmas Eve, the outfit he wore for his second birthday party. Memory after memory of easier and happier times. Reminder after reminder of what we have lost.
I felt so many emotions I couldn't keep track. Sadness mostly, but also a lot of anger. This awful disease is stealing our son. Our perfect baby boy. I bitterly threw a porcelain piggy bank into the trash. Oliver will never get the opportunity to save his quarters to buy icecream from the icecream man.
By far the thing that made me the saddest was when I came across this pooh bear...
This Pooh Bear was one of the very first things I purchased when I found out I was pregnant. We didn't find out that Oliver was a boy until he was born, we wanted to keep it a surprise, so we decorated the nursery in the "Classic Pooh" style. We painted grass, sky and clouds. Chris painted Pooh Bear's tree in the corner. We put love into every brush stroke, into every ironed curtain and dust ruffle. Like all moms to be, I folded and refolded adorable newborn onesies and teeny tiny outfits. I stacked up diapers and wipes, folded blankets and burp cloths and made sure everything was just right. When the nursery was finally finished it was like walking into the 100 Acre Wood. Now all it needed was the baby. I would sit in the glider and daydream of the blissful times to come.
We had two years of blissful times, singing, playing, reading books together and rocking to sleep. I can remember each book we read and how he'd point out the same things each time. He could find Goldbug in Cars and Trucks and Things that Go faster than any adult. He loved the book "Are you my mother?" and would giggle every time the little bird asked the wrong animal. He loved Llama Llama Red Pajama and would point at the baby Llama and say "No no no, brubble!(trouble)" when the llama was being reprimanded by its mother. I'll remember every castle we built out of blocks, every trip on his ride-on dinosaur, every car and truck he crashed into the wall and him signing "More elephant book mama" to me at 3am one night. (he did baby sign language before he could talk)They were the two happiest years of our lives and I am very grateful to have had them.
If life was fair we would create decades more memories to keep in our hearts.
But life isn't fair.