Tonight my family and I went to a Chinese all you can eat buffet in Allentown. It was to use a gift certificate generously donated to use after Caleb passed away. Doing things as a family since Caleb passed away has been especially challenging for me in a lot of ways. From counting heads before we leave in the car to where we go and how we are received. Being a large family is not terribly common in this day and age and we tend to chuckle at the looks sometimes or get puffed up on nice comments as we sit at restaurants and people are amazed at how well behaved our children are even though we might disagree.
I experienced gentle reminders tonight and really missed Caleb tonight at one point during dinner. We had basically finished up and our other kids were just chatting and living live as normal. I looked around the table and could help but be reminded we were one short. The last time were were at this restaurant Caleb was with us and Caleb always seemed to be the center of attention wherever we went. I couldn’t help relive that last time in my mind as I surveyed my surroundings and feeling a little hollow hole in my heart. Having Caleb had its challenges compared to having older kids who can take care of themselves. Even walking through the parking lot into the Chinese food place as I scan for hazards I can’t help but be a little less tense because most of our kids are old enough not to walk the parking lot without holding our hand so to speak and follow my verbal lead.
Things are very different and I can’t help but miss Caleb and everything he brought to our family. The dynamics have changed and our youngest is now five years old and that alone is weird. This will be the longest time in our marriage that we didn’t have a child in diapers. So I am trying to accept our new normal but it’s really hard. On the surface it appears OK from the outside but the inside is still very wounded. I wish Caleb could know how much we miss him. The reality that we will not see him again this side of heaven is what makes things so challenging along with all the subtle reminders. The problem I run into is not letting the subtle reminders take me to darker places in my mind where I end up angry, depressed and paralyzed. Taking each day one day at a time and missing that little boy like crazy.
Author: Andrew Dubas