Blessed By Silas Winston Rondomanski

One year ago, August 17th, we said goodbye to our son for the second and final time.

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Our friends and family surrounded us as we faced the second hardest day of our life.  The outpouring of love and support given to our family at this time was truly amazing, and I am forever grateful.  I am grateful that we were not the only ones standing there brokenhearted.  My heart was touched by the love shown for Silas and for us.  We were not alone in our grief, and we still aren’t.

I still don’t understand why one so precious had to leave so quickly, so suddenly, but I do know this:  The hearts that shattered the day he died bonded the broken pieces together in love and sorrow for our family.  People are capable of great love and compassion in times of tragedy, and it is one way in which beauty can rise from the ashes.

In the days leading up to his funeral, God brought to mind the blessings Silas had brought to my life.  I couldn’t believe I could see the good in the midst of intense grief.  Each blessing proved to me that the pain of losing him was worth the blessing of having him, and my love for Silas grew even more.

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As our friends and family came through the visitation line during the hour before Silas’ funeral, I could see the pain and grief in their eyes and in their tears.  They tried to keep their tears at bay for my sake, but how can you when you see a mother and father standing there without their child?  They were absolutely devastated for us.  I just had to share why we were so blessed to be Silas’ parents.  Their tears gave me the courage to stand and speak for my baby. Below is the video of my words for my baby boy.

 

Finding Joy In June

So many emotions have hit me in the days leading up to Silas’ birthday, June 25th. In the first weeks of June, I felt so much joy, remembering the season of last year and the excitement his anticipated arrival was bringing. I thought June would be so terribly hard, but was surprised to feel that the good was in the forefront…that the beautiful memories were so vibrant.

But, those memories were muddled because as a mother approaches her child’s first birthday, she usually looks at him, an almost one year old, and thinks, where did the time go? How can you be so big already? Was it really a whole year ago?

I have no comparisons to make with last year. My son is not here. But, even amidst the pain the separation brings, there is no denying the fact that he brought me great joy.

As I reflected on last year, I thought of how innocent I was in my joy. Would I have ever wanted to know the way it all would go?

No. Absolutely not.

I loved him wholly and completely every minute, never wishing a second away, for I knew it would pass in the blink of an eye. I would never trade that pure, innocent love for knowledge that, while it may have eased some of the trauma, would have caused those days to be bittersweet and fearful. I have no regrets in how we spent our time with Silas, and that is why we didn’t need to know.

Last year, I never could have dreamed we would be standing here today without our little Silas in our arms.

In the last few days, the heartache has been creeping in on the joy. I easily cry at the thought of him. I feel like all the months of healing are unraveling, but I’m sure this is normal…just a path to another layer of healing that will come with the passing of the storm of surviving his birthday without him.

I’m in uncharted territory, and feel very vulnerable because of the emotions that have been flooding my soul. How am I supposed to survive Silas’ birthday without him?

How is a mother supposed to feel as her son’s birthday approaches and he’s not here?

I feel devastated that my baby is not here.

I feel haunted by what could have been and what never will be.

I feel heartache because so much time has passed since I last held him.

I feel numb because I’m afraid of the hurt.

I feel confused because this is not the way it’s supposed to be.

I feel broken because my dreams for him have been torn away, but yet, there are still some I want to fulfill in his honor.

Most of all:
I feel joy because he blessed my life.
I feel love that reaches across the distance.

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Unspoken Love

My heart is sad. I am missing my baby on this special day. I can’t look back and reminisce special Thanksgivings in the past with him. I only have one I shared with him and it was when I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy. I only remember feeling so thankful for the new little life in my womb. I don’t have any “snapshots” in my memory of what this holiday was like with him in my arms, for we lost him too soon.

It is harder in some ways to have never had these holidays with him in our arms, because we don’t have pictures or memories of him here with us to help comfort us through the holidays. I know that memories of past holidays with loved ones lost are often described as bittersweet, but what is the word for how you feel when you never had the chance to make those memories?  As I mourn never having held him in my arms and never having seen him with our family on Thanksgiving day, I remember this one special moment with him…

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I am thankful for the many times I took the time to stare at my sweet Silas to soak up all of his preciousness. Forever etched in my memory is one of those special times. I remember looking into his eyes and thinking…

Can you see how much I love you?
Can I just pour all of this love from my soul into yours as I stare into your beautiful blue eyes?
Can I possibly relate to you the depth of my love?

My heart overflowed with love for my son and I desperately wanted him to know how much I loved him, but the magnitude of the love I felt was indescribable. It was so intense, I almost felt my heart would break.

There were no words spoken between us in that moment. Our eyes were locked, staring so intently at one another. Silas answered all of my questions in the only way he could. I saw a flicker of love in his eyes. I was taken aback. I thought, did I really just see love in your eyes? He was nearly six weeks old at the time. Never had I seen a baby so young show so much love in his eyes. He was wise beyond his five weeks.

He was too young to say I Love You, but he gave me the greatest gift a mother could ever receive. Though I will never hear those words from his lips, I am able to say he told me he loved me. I know his heart heard mine.

***The photo above is one I am so grateful I took, for it is a view of him from my perspective as I would hold him in front of me as I drank in all the sweetness of his face.