"It's so wrong, so profoundly wrong, for a child to die before its parents. It's hard enough to bury our parents. But that we expect. Our parents belong to our past, our children belong to our future. We do not visualize our future without them. How can I bury my son, my future, one of the next in line? He was meant to bury me!" - from Lament For A Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff.
I miss Nathan. I miss him so deeply. I miss his laughter. I miss his smile. I miss his sweetness. I miss his intelligence. I miss picking him up after work and talking to him about his day. I miss his strong grip. I miss his healthy appetite for all foods. I miss his deference to his brother. I miss seeing him play with Lucas. I miss his sweet voice. I miss hearing him sing to Rafi songs in the car. I miss his Curious George dance. I miss how he used to line up his cars in a row so neatly. I miss him coming into my bed Saturday mornings to wake me up and watch cartoons while I continued to snooze. I miss bathing him and putting his puppyhead towel on him. I miss tickling him. I miss pushing him on the swing set and making him laugh. I miss his funny, inquisitive nature. I miss his love for brown socks and shirts. I miss seeing him take his puppy with him everywhere. I miss watching him sleep. I miss teaching him stuff. I miss letting him crawl all over me or get up on my shoulders. I miss reading to him. I miss the funny way that he would hit a golf ball. I miss hugging and kissing him. Oh how I miss my Nathan!
Though losing Midi has been devastating, losing Nathan has been excruciating. It is harder to lose a child than to lose a spouse. As his daddy, I was supposed to protect him. I was supposed to guide him through childhood. I was supposed to go to his games and school events. I was supposed to talk to him about girls and relationships. I was supposed to take him on long summer road trips across the country and camping trips. I was supposed to send him to college. I was supposed to meet his friends. I was supposed to spoil his children. Losing Nathan is a horrible injustice. Four year olds are not supposed to die!!!
I wish that my grandmother (Obachama) was still alive. She lost her husband and her four year old daughter back in 1945 or 1946 to cholera. She was the only one who I personally knew who could possibly relate to what I'm going through. Until the day she died at 85 in 1998, she could not talk about that horrible time in her life - at least not for long. But, I suppose I can take some comfort in knowing that Obachama was one of the most profoundly joyful people I knew. She was a woman of deep character, faith, and compassion for others. I hope I can be like her. I hope I can live my life well even through my suffering. I hope I can experience the joys of life again as she learned to after her tragedy.