I can picture us heading out together for some time in the snow. I can see him stumbling along in the snow in his snow pants and coat, so bundled up in the cold Minnesota air that one can hardly make out his little eyes and nose. I can feel those little arms embrace me again as we walk the streets of our neighborhood in the dark, taking in the sight of the Christmas lights. I can see his mouth agape as he consumes the sight of each house with Christmas lights, looking at each successive house as it was the only house that ever displayed lights. I can see his little hand raised to catch, with considerable curiosity, some falling white snowflakes.
I can picture us heading down the sledding hill near Lake Nokomis in south Minneapolis. I can hear his shrieks of delight coming from those little lips as we slide down the hill together. I can hear the big, hearty laughter interrupted by the silence that lasts only for that moment after our sled hits a bump in the snow and we fall face-first into the snow together. I can hear the silence only for an instant, until I hear again the sound of more gut-busting laughter. I can feel the cold on his rosy red cheeks after his daddy kept him out in the bitter winter wind far too long.
I can imagine holding Micah in my arms above the rows of onlookers at the Holidazzle parade in downtown Minneapolis together. I can picture the quizzical look on his face as he sits in Santa’s lap, not sure whether to laugh or scream at the old man and his silly red outfit. On the way home, I can see him sleeping in the backseat of our Toyota, tuckered out from all the fresh air and lights, his blonde hat hair shooting in every direction.
On Christmas morning, I can imagine Heather and I taking turns opening our son’s Christmas gifts, curious to determine which of his mother’s bargains he will play with first, only to discover he spends most of the morning playing with the wrapping paper. I can picture him chasing our dog Sadie around in his Christmas outfit, nearly knocking the Christmas tree over on multiple occasions, and getting far too close to the fire in the fireplace. I can feel what he feels like in my arms as he sits and patiently listens to me read the story of how baby Jesus was born in the manger.How we grieve the loss of our son and of our time together. How we mourn the loss of those desired experiences of just being mother to son, father to son. How we hurt so deeply because of the loss of the opportunity to love so unconditionally.