When we talk about Miguel, Alex always says how old he "is", rather than how old he would be. I like it, sort of makes him feel a little closer somehow. I guess that's why I also never cancelled the subscription to a parenting website that sends emails every now and then to tell me about his milestones and Miguel should be able to do by now. I think about how our family would be, if he were still here. How he would have filled the age gap between Alex and Leo perfectly, how fun it would have been to have a wild little toddler thrown into the very interesting mix we now have.
I don't dwell on that for too long though; because it isn't healthy, but mostly because I just don't have time. I'm too busy loving people, and having days like this one. Sometimes I do stop to wonder if I have lost my mind - the potential for pain is so great when you open up your heart. This little guy with us now, for example; I know that he will not be with us long term. And I know that my heart will break when he goes. But that doesn't mean that I can love him a little less, or be indifferent. With love it's kind of all or nothing.
I also still battle a lot of fear - fear that things will not work out, fear that something will happen to one of my other kids, fear when I can't tell if they are breathing in the night. And the memories of that night come back and...
I'm telling you, this whole love thing is just a risky business.
But then, when I think about the sacrifice that Jesus made for us - about the pain that we put Him through when we know the truth but still choose something or someone over Him - loving these kids seems like the very least I can do. And so even though I am still heartbroken over Miguel it turns out that a broken heart can love. And not just the same but even better than an unbroken heart, it turns out, which goes right along with God's plan of using the weak to show His love to the world.
Knowing what I know now, if I could go back and do it all over I would take that little boy home every time. Miguel, we miss you baby, things have never been the same without you. I'm so happy that you've never been better, though. And don't worry, there is another baby here but he isn't taking your place - no one ever will.