Xander came back breathless. “There’s no one home!” My calls also proved fruitless.
I got up and ran around the house: not in the basement, not in Mary’s room, not in his bed… I put on my coat and told the boys to keep looking. I ran up and down the street knocking on doors and calling his name. I knew he couldn’t be far– he never even crosses the street without me– but it doesn’t take much for a mommy’s heart to fill with fear.
After I knocked on the last possible door I headed home thinking of the description I would give the police: 4 feet tall, skinny as a zipper, white blonde hair and the most beautiful little face you’ve ever seen.
Crossing back into our yard Xander ran out to greet me wearing basketball shorts and snow boots, “We found him Mom, we found him!” Ben had him on the couch and I took him in my arms and sat down and sobbed.
“He was in the basement mom. We couldn’t see him because he fell asleep between the bean bag and the couch.”
Gabriel is so small when he sleeps. He curls up into a little ball and simply disappears. Obviously, he is also a very sound sleeper and no amount of calling would ever wake him.
The boys watched in wonder as I cried. “You didn’t think he was really gone, did you, Mom?”
No, but I live in constant awareness of how precious each day with my children is. I went to the funeral of a five year old when I was pregnant with Ben. I was with Erik and my parents and at the viewing I was a sobbing wreck. Little Mitchell’s father was comforting me and stayed calm and serene until he saw my dad. Then that great man began to sob like a child as my dad hugged him, “You know how you love your children. You know how you love your children.”
I’ve been to far too many funerals of children. I know how I love my children, and I know that to lose one of them would be like ripping my heart out; like the sun and the moon and the stars falling down on me all at once. I don’t know how you’ve survived it my friends. May God bless you and keep you.