I know that Zac isn't there at the cemetery. I know that. I know that his soul and his spirit is happy in heaven. And that is a wonderful knowledge. And wonderful to know that one day we will be together for eternity with all our children. Yes, that is wonderful knowledge.
The other day, however, Evan and I went out to the cemetery to remove a cross that had been broken in a wind storm and replace it with a ceramic angel figurine. And when I pulled up to the Little Angels site...everything was gone. EVERYTHING.
I went ice cold.
I know logically that the cemetery had likely chosen to start to enforce the rule of not having items left around the plots. When Zac was burried and we met with the person to arrange for his plaque he had mentioned that the grounds had a policy for no items left but that at the Little Angels site they chose to turn a blind eye and allow items.
So, even though I knew this was likely the situation, I still had to gather myself and not break down in front of Evan.
In that moment, it felt like I lost Zac all over again.
I went to the office and asked what had happened to all the items and they let me know each site was boxed up and the boxes were in a storage building all labelled, and that I would need to find a grounds keeper and they would take me to the items.
I asked if a letter had been sent out, and she said yes, twice. But of course, who would ever think you would need to update a change of address at a cemetery. I never did. I knew I should have. And I guess I better now!
So off Evan and I went to find the storage building. And then from the back seat Evan says to me, "Mommy, where is Zac?" Me: "remember bud, he is in heaven with Jesus." Evan: "Oh ya. I wish he were right beside me here". Me: "Me too buddy, me too. But one day we will all be together again because we have Jesus in our hearts, right?!" Evan: "yah!"
Thank goodness Evan couldn't see the tears running down my face.
We found the building. And once again collected what was all we had for Zac at the cemetery. A huge flash back to being handed a box of all we had left from the few days we shared together with Zac at the hospital.
And I'm tired of being handed boxes of memories, so few and so precious.
I do respect the cemetery's reasoning. But, as a mommy who only has a grave to visit with one of her sons...that's tough. Because just being able to have those few items around Zac's plaque meant so much to me. Items to personalize an otherwise cold and sad grave. Those few items brought a bit of "life" and "joy" to my visits. And was my way of being able to still do SOMETHING for my son.
I know...they are just "things" and he is not "there". And maybe some are just rolling their eyes at these feelings of mine and maybe not understanding what this possibly feels like...and that's ok. If you haven't experienced this, I wouldn't expect you to understand. So, I don't judge. But I ask that I not be judged for the ways that help me deal with losing one of my sons.
Those few items made that little space feel like "our" place. I would go visit when I was feeling overwhelmed with life circumstances, or just needing some Zac time, and I would go sit and journal or pray or chat about Evan "to" Zac. And it oddly became a place of "peace" and serenity. It was "our" place. Not at all the type of place I'd ever wished to be our place, but it felt like I still had a way to be able to do something.
It has just been a strange adjustment yet again. And difficult, because once again, that grave site just seems cold and empty.
So I now have the cherubs and the hanging plaque in the picture above in a little flower bed at the front of my house. It's not the same, but they are here with us.
But I have to say, it makes me feel the same as Evan's comment was to me "I wish Zac were here beside me..."
I love how Evan is making Zac's name more a part of conversations though. Some are quite funny. And I've had a frame with a picture of both Zac and Evan from NICU on a window sill that Evan now has claimed as his and is on his dresser in his bedroom. It touches my heart. And is important that he knows of his brother. They are a part of each other always.
I love my boys. I love all my babes! Always and forever, to eternity! xoxo