Woe to the innocent grocery shopper who happens to stand in line with me and my circus, who attempts polite chit-chat by asking, “Three boys?” The fellow shopper shall stand corrected by the seven-year-old, “Actually, there are FIVE boys—two died,” and shall offer an awkward “Oh” in response.
I am used to this situation by now, having eased into it one child at a time. I sympathize with the uncomfortable, unknowing, fellow shopper. How could he (or, more often, she) have known of our family’s heavenly contingent?
This picture is from the wonderful week we spent at the beach this past summer. Anyone looking at the picture will see me, my husband, and our “big three.” But just as in my day-to-day, most would not see the presence of John Blaise or Alexander. What most would not know is that I am 13 weeks pregnant with Alexander in this picture, and I am wearing my necklace of John’s footprint.
This is my family. At least, this is the family with whom I share a roof.
If home is where the heart is, is family what makes that heart beat?
You can’t tell, but outside the frame of that picture are my parents, my brother and brother-in-law, my sisters, an aunt, cousins, second cousins, nieces, and a nephew… and that’s just on the beach.
My husband and I have not been alone in the loss of our sons. Our extended family, though miles away, has helped to carry us. Some were able to come be at our side, and some have been emotional support from afar, even as they cry with us.
Since losing John Blaise, my family has grown. It has grown to envelop friends who became so much more through their walking with us on this journey. And my family has grown to include members of this “sisterhood” I never would have met if not for our children who left us too soon.
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