After almost two years I still have a hard time recalling Kai’s laugh, or the feel of his soft baby skin against mine, or the smell of his wispy blond hair. These fleeting moments of joy are still deeply buried under the smell of medicine and formula and vomit that has permeated my being. The restless sounds and endless crying nights are always there to haunt me if I listen. It still takes great effort to piece together the happy memories or even just the everyday I have stored somewhere deep inside my brain.
Three times now I have been overwhelmed by my mind forcibly recalling him back to me, if only for a moment. Last year in the spring after he died I had a flashback. I was driving towards Boston down the mass pike as I had a million times with Kai. This day was unremarkable and my head was far from any deep thought, carefree. In an instant the world in front of me vanished and I was suddenly entrenched in the moments of Kai’s last breaths. I was holding him and crying silent tears just as I and done that night. The pain filled me as I continued to drive, completely unaware of my actions. The pain I felt that day driving down the mass pike felt even stronger than the night he actually died. I could smell him and I felt his hair. I felt his warm body, limp in my arms. And in a flash it was all gone.
That flashback terrified me a year ago, but there have been days since where I have wanted nothing more than to allow my brain to fill me with that type of pain and love again.
Last weekend I drove to Newton to pick up some thing of work. It was a beautiful crisp autumn day. The roads were free of traffic allowing me to admire the sun beaming throughout the white puffy clouds and take in the magic of the red and orange leaves gently falling to the ground. I felt peace and joy as I once again drove down the mass pike just as I and so many times before. This day I felt him with me with a smile. As I turned off the Watertown exit I embraced the memories beautiful memories of our weekly visits to Perkins. I looked in the rearview mirror and I painted a picture of him sitting contently in his big boy car seat al dressed up and ready for ‘school’. I remember a bit of the beautiful wonderful everyday life we sometimes got to live. I took a deep breath happily soaking it all in for as long as my mind would allow.
It has taken almost two years to remember, to feel him just for a moment.
***I wrote this two weeks ago but never posted it. It has been so much harder to share these story since Kai has gone. It is such a relief when I am able to write and continue to share Kai’s life with the world, but often my mind is to clouded to get it out.
Tonight I was reading the blog of another cancer mom and could not help but reflect upon the similarities of our stories, when we met, where we’v been and how far we’v come.
I followed this blog when Kai was alive, when Ty was alive.
Ty died 2 years ago today, exactly 6 weeks before Kai lost his life. They were both spunky beautiful, wide eyed, blond haired little boys who lived their short lives battling brain cancer. Ty’s mom speaks with a raw honesty that truly helped me so much in the end of Kai’s life. As Kai’s abilities were fading I pictured Ty on the couch at home with his momma and dad and little brother, fighting for their peace. I knew we were not alone and I knew I could see him through this, as I had just watched Ty’s mom do.
A few months ago I met Ty’s mom. We knew each other from our blogs and our work in helping others as many of us cancer moms do but this day we sat in real life at a table full of amazing powerful, devoted, moms – who had all met after the loss of our children. There is such a bussing energy and an overwhelming peace that surrounds those meeting of the minds.
I am so fortunate to have had many of these opportunities in the (almost) two years since Kai has died. I am so thankful to have been embraced by a truly amazing group of game changing women, who despite their own loss continue to dedicate their lives to helping to make things better for the next family. In all of our respective efforts and mission we, often organically, show up at different fundraisers or advocacy event across the country and meet by chance, like the universe (or our children) are putting us in each others paths. It has been quiet magical at times finding ourselves together – the one place I can make NEW memories with Kai
Thank you to all of the mommas I have met in the after Kai…Cindy, Audra, Susan, Beecher, Kristine, Blyth, Beth, Jeri, Danielle, Kristina…my why me family and the many many wonderful families I have meet up at camp ❤
everyone has a story to tell.