Last week, my family and I laid my uncle to rest. He died after complications from what should have been a routine pacemaker surgery. Needless to say, we were caught off guard and although it’s really impossible to fully prepare yourself for death, we were definitely not prepared for this loss.
My Uncle Doug was a wonderful man, stubborn and hard-headed at times, but also completely unselfish. He and my aunt were the next best things to parents my brother and I could ever have. To lose him has been a shock to the system. I’m only happy that he was able to enjoy my son for 8 months.
And speaking of my son, this child is extraordinary. Every parent says that, I’m sure, but this past week has shown a more compassionate, loving, and endearing side of my baby.
Here’s the thing about kids, they have the ability to make you smile. A child loves without regard. A child doesn’t see your imperfections or your flaws, instead he sees a heart, someone to love and cherish. And a child has an innate ability to mend a heart, if not heal it. I think on some level I’ve always known this, but never really observed it at least not until last week.
My child continued on with his daily activities even as I sat at the hospital by my uncle’s bed and with my family in the waiting room. He sat at his daddy’s office, reviewing blueprints and keeping his daddy entertained. He was completely oblivious to what was happening, much too young to really comprehend the full extent of the situation at hand.
After my uncle’s passing and while we quietly mourned at my aunt’s house, my son stepped up to the plate in a way only a child could. He doesn’t speak and can’t sympathize or share in certain emotions, but he can sense when someone is hurting. I watched as my baby boy moved from person to person, cooing softly. He crawled to family members and showed off his two tooth smile that would elicit a laughter from everyone around him. I watched as he climbed into my mother’s arms and gently placed his hand on her cheek, caressing her as if to say, “Don’t worry, Mimi. I love you.” He brought a smile to my face and tears of love to my eyes.
In the end, we’re all still mourning our loss, but having Davey with us makes it not quite so hard to endure.