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Right Where I Am: 1 year, 8 months, 1 week, and 3 days (written June 3, 2011)

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1 year, 8 months, 1 week and 3 days since saying goodbye to our precious, perfect son... though it still feels like yesterday you were taken from us.

In almost 2 years I have learned how truly powerless I am, for I would have given my life for my son Parker. I would have given anything asked of me just to hold him or see his smile or even hear his cry. But no one gave me that chance.
In almost 2 years I have learned that it’s okay to question my faith and to be mad at God. Some people may get upset or try to push their beliefs on me, but I have to remember they are not living my life, I am.
In almost 2 years, I have learned that life is not fair and no amount of praying will change that fact.  I have learned that I can mentally be gone, exhausted, and worn out from fighting and yet somehow I find the strength to get through another day.
In almost 2 years, I have learned that I can cry a river and yet still have enough tears left over to cry some more tomorrow.  I have learned that it is possible to live your life, and yet be forever stuck in a single moment.
In almost 2 years, I have learned to hope that there is a heaven and that Parker is looking down on us from a fluffy cloud, because the alternative is not acceptable. And I have learned to believe that yes, Parker does come around, even though I can’t see him.  Because sometimes at odd times and moments, I can actually feel
him next to me.
In almost 2 years, I have learned the kindness of actions, for it was in my darkest hours that a simple gesture meant so much more than a thousand words.  I have learned that I am able to talk about Parker more and more and it makes me feel better, even if some people are uncomfortable hearing me talk about him.
I have learned that even close friends may be too scared to talk about Parker because they think it will cause me pain. What they don’t realize is that I already hurt and talking about him will only help me.
In almost 2 years, I have learned that the friends I thought I had will never understand and may stop coming around, but I will form new friendships with perfect strangers because they are the only ones who understand my pain. I have learned that well-meaning people will sometimes say the stupidest things when they are trying to help. I know I have to be patient because they do not understand and probably never will.  And, I have to accept that everyone has an opinion on how I should grieve. It may not be my opinion, but they will have one!
I have learned there is no time limit; I will always miss Parker—today, tomorrow, in a year or five years, or even 30 Years down the road. I will still miss him, time will not change that. I have learned that it is okay to grieve no matter how long it’s been its My Grief—no one else’s!  I have learned that I am stronger than I thought I was, and yet I am weaker than I ever was before.
In almost 2 years I have learned that my memories won’t fade if I take them out and share them with others.  It’s up to me to share the gift that is my child with the world.  I have learned that a terrible monster called Anger lives inside of me, and I don’t know what I would do without him. Anger has now become a very best friend, much like sadness and depression.
In almost 2 years I have learned that I can get used to visiting a cemetery, and I will even take pride in making Parker's grave the best decorated one around. So that anyone who chances by will know that my child was and always will be loved.
In almost 2 years I’ve realized that I may get used to taking my precious Parker flowers instead of toys or clothes, but it doesn’t stop the hurt or erase the longing for what I should be buying.
In almost 2 years I have learned that a sweet smell like baby lotion or even shampoo—no matter how faint—can make me cry in a single heartbeat.
In almost 2 years I have learned that even though I hurt, I am lucky to have known him, been able to hold him, and love him. So many people were not that fortunate.  I have learned how to turn away and control myself when I see someone who reminds me of him: a glimpse of a tiny baby dressed in blue. And, I wonder if the parents of that child realize how very lucky they are. I have learned that I may be envious or even a little jealous, but I always wish that child well and hope that his parents never learn my pain.  I have learned to accept that I will never see Parker walk, or talk or call me Mommy. And I have learned to accept that I will have no more pictures: That what I have is it, there’s no more coming!  I have learned to accept the fact that in my house, he will never grow old, and I will never know him as a young man learning about life. I will never watch him fall in love, or get his heart broken. I will never have to let him go as he walks down the aisle, And, I will never hold the hand of his children, my grandchildren. I will never look at him all grown-up and feel pride knowing I gave this world another shining star.  So many things I will never have.
In a very long and heartfelt 2 years full of pain and so many many tears, I have learned that love alone was not enough to keep my Son by my side.  I have learned, that love unfortunately does not conquer death, but it will outlast it.  And that even after so much pain, some memories will always make me smile, even though I may cry.
In Almost 2 Years, I have learned not to fear death, because only in death will I hold Parker again.

In 9 months, I have learned that Parker is a better big brother than any living brothers and sisters Benjamin has or will have.  I know that Parker is always watching over Benjamin and us, keeping us safe. I know that Parker had everything to do with Benjamin's conception, my flawless pregnancy, and his perfect birth.  After all, Benjamin's due date was Parker's birthday, September 21st.  I know that we have our very own guardian angel, just for us, and no one else.