This morning I awakened and out of the blue I thought of the LeAnn Rimes song “How Do I Live”. I have not thought of that song in 15 years at least. But for some reason this morning I felt compelled to look up the lyrics. I will share a few lines and if you interested you can look up the whole song. I know that the song is supposed to represent the relationship of a woman losing her romantic partner. But I read the lyrics from the point of view of a mother losing a child. Don’t actually listen to the song unless you want to do the Ugly Cry because I’m warning you it will happen. Here is a sample of the lyrics:
“How do I get through one night without you if I had to live without you.
What kinda life would that be?
Oh I need you in my arms, need you to hold.
You are my world, my heart, my soul.
If you ever leave, Baby you would take away everything good in my life
and tell me now. How do I live without you? I want to know.
How do I breathe without you, If you ever go?
How do I ever, ever survive?
How do I , how do I, oh how do I live?”
This is just a small portion of the lyrics but you get the idea.
I listened to the song online and blubbered. I am famous for telling my kids, prior to October 1st, that if anything ever happened to them I could not go on. I know every mother has wondered what if something ever took her child away from her.
Well, fast forward about 15 minutes. I had washed my hair and sat down at the vanity to put my makeup on. As soon as I looked into the mirror there was a rainbow prism shining down the center of my face. The colors were so vibrant. Red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet. The thought; “It’s gonna be okay.” washed over me. It felt so peaceful. It was a very nice feeling. I sat there basking in the glow of it for several minutes feeling happy.
Will had a flannel blanket with rainbows printed on it and he used it as his blankie until it was just embarrassing for him to carry it anymore. Thumb in mouth and blankie rubbing his face was his preferred method of using it. I washed it years ago and put it in a “safe” place. Naturally, I do not know where it is now. After he became an adult if he was having a bad day I would ask him,”Do you need your rainbow blankie?” half joking. His answer was usually, “Well, I wouldn’t turn it down if you gave it to me.” So rainbows have always reminded me of him and his blankie.
Now, I can’t say that God or Will were speaking to me when I felt the feeling, “It’s gonna be okay.” or when I saw the rainbow on my face. But it was a lovely feeling regardless of how it entered my mind and heart. It made me feel hope that it really is going to be okay. Maybe not tomorrow or next week but it is going to be okay. Hope is what I am clinging to. The hope that he will always be on my heart but in a good way, not in a debilitating way.
I had lunch with a friend this week that I have not seen in about 12 years. She made the analogy of our relationship and the new relationship that I now have with Will. She said even though we have not seen each other in 12 years I have always been in her heart. She made comments about how much I had impacted her life as a wife and mother. She said she thought about me a lot and would remember some piece of wisdom or perspective that I had shared with her. So even though we weren’t together, I never left her heart and mind. She suggested that was the way I will come to think of Will and myself. Even though I can’t see him, I will remember the ways his life impacted me and made me a better person. That was an interesting perspective and one that I have pondered since our lunch.
So the lesson that I am leaving you with is it is our worst nightmare to imagine losing our child. It does hurt. But he will always be part of me and I will quote him and refer to him in conversation the same way I do about my other three children. I have hope. I know that my emotions will change daily, by the hour, by the minute. There will be times I am melancholy. There will be days that I laugh out loud remembering something he said.
When I first started writing this blog in August of this year, I was telling him about it in a text message conversation. He responded that he thought that was so awesome. He said that he thought I would be a great writer. Whether I am a great writer or not, he was so encouraging to me. I would like to think that hearing this song, the rainbow shining on my face, and the peace that I felt will stay with me during the low times. We cannot live our lives scared. We have to be brave, trusting, and hopeful. I feel so lucky that I had him as my buddy for 29 years because he has made me a better person.
She writes about life, death, grief, and recovery.