Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Remembering My Son, 11 Years After

I still find myself smiling wistfully everytime I see a new dinosaur book on display at the bookstore. Part of me wants to grab the book, purchase it and bring it home to include it among your things that are kept in a cabinet close to my work desk at home.

Eleven years later, I don't cry as much and I can talk about you now without having to shed a tear, remembering you with smiles more than with sadness. You must be a young man now, all of 15 years old. When I see Cholo who lives across the street from Mama, it's like I see you because you were both born on the same year. I wonder if you still love dinosaurs. I'd like to believe that you do.

I guess you know (and you see clearly from where you are...) that so much has happenned to our family over the last 11 years. How we all have grown individually, hopefully for the better :) Your sister is now about to enter college but she still remembers you and misses you like crazy. She's become one hell of a photographer and I see a lot of you in her very artistic work. She's going to be a doctor someday, and I know that has been influenced greatly by her experience of you.

You see, no matter how many years have gone by, you continue to live on in each one of us. This year we came out with a book that celebrated your memory. "Heaven's Butterfly" has helped countless children, not just here, but overseas as well. Your legacy continues to expand and evolve and though we would have wanted for you to remain with us, I have now begun to see the higher purpose as to why you had to leave us after four years. God's ways are not our ways. Losing you continues to be the most painful experience I have ever gone through but the pain has somehow eased because I am able to share the memory of you in so many ways. There is Migi's Corner, the grief education classes, Griefshare, the book, the kids Good Grief workshops... your loss has not been in vain. Your life continues in every child whose life has been touched by the corners or the stories about you that we have shared. God has truly been faithful.

For the last decade or so, since you've been gone, I've had this strange fascination for the monarch butterfly who every winter flies to the coast of California (specifically in Pacific Grove) to cluster in select groves of eucalyptus and pine where they spend the rest of the winter, snug and safe with other monarchs. Dad and I finally made it there in 2006 and we marveled at the beauty and resiliency of these orange and black winged creatures. It was only a few weeks ago when I read about them and suddenly it all made sense... this fascination for monarchs that I;ve held since you left us. Diane Ackerman writes in "The Rarest of the Rare" --- "They are silent, beautiful, fragils; they are harmless and clean; they are determined; they are graceful...Like the imagination, they dart from one sunlit spot to another. To the Mexicans who call them las palomas, they are the souls of children who died during the past year, fluttering on their way to heaven."

We love you Migs and we miss you. And we will always be connected to those we love no matter the time that has passed. We keep you in our hearts, forever.

Image from "The Dinosaur Day"