Blue eyesOn December 20, 2017 by Michelle Love
I just looked at my “this day in past years” photos, and saw the photo of BJ on Dec 20, 2015. He was opening some gifts that were brought to the hospital for him, and he had on a new Tarheel santa hat. His eyes…my Lord, those blue eyes, matching the color of the Carolina blue…and that smile. Even then, with a dismal outlook and his unshakeable hope and faith, he is smiling. It hit me to the point of nausea. I miss him so so much. It’s a constant ache within me, and I can’t get away from it. I don’t want to not feel the pain, because I’m afraid that would mean I’m getting used to him not being here, and seriously…how could that ever be? I’ll never get used to his absence. There is so much of his future here that we’re all missing out on. There is so much I want to tell him. These momma’s arms just want to wrap themselves around both of my kids, and hold them tight. I want to just go sit in BJ’s closet, and close the door so maybe I can feel that he’s a little closer with a hint of his smell.
I am actually able to ‘run farther in my life’ than I used to before the grief knocks me down…before I have to crash under the weight of what I hold in. But at this moment, I’m getting knocked down by that gigantic wave of grief. I’m nauseated and tears just keep rolling down my face. I’m already exhausted, and the day has just begun. I’m glad I’m alone right now. I’ll sit here and write, and after a while, I’ll feel better. As my thoughts come out on this page, my nausea will subside and I will be left feeling depleted.
With Christmas coming up, I have tried my best to stay above water, to stay busy, keep my mind busy, and we’ve had a lot of things going on that has helped. Community Blood Center of the Carolinas scheduled a video with us and BJ’s nurses on the importance of blood donation, and to tell our story, BJ’s story. They shot the video at our house last night – in BJ’s bedroom. I let the videographer decide where he wanted to set up (not that he had many choices in our small house) and even though BJ’s bedroom is a little tight, he decided that would be the best place. I went last. We covered a lot, and there were times that I teared up during the interview. When I started crying, Charlie Brown came over and tried to get in my lap. I noticed the timing of that, and Carly noticed it too. At the end, I had to talk about the day BJ died – or at least say that he passed away on March 6, 2016, 2 days after his 15th birthday. I talked about the fact that he passed away in PICU at Levine Children’s Hospital, and we were there right beside him, and watched him die. That is a vivid memory I’ll never be able to get out of my head. Carly was there in that room right beside him when he died, too. She was 11. She doesn’t talk about that day. Maybe one day, we’ll all hear from her, how this has effected her life.
For now, I’ll just stare at those blue eyes.