They say a picture is worth a thousand words… and I have to agree. In one picture Keaton, Matthew, my dad, and Mister Rogers are all included. I know, I know it is a little odd to put Mister Rogers in the list of these individuals, but it works for me.
The picture was taken last night. We have started a bedtime routine where Matthew reads to Keats and I go take a relaxing bath! As I was about to go get in the bath, Matthew told me I might want to get a picture (we only take about a million a day). I walked into the room and almost started crying. It was a moment I never wanted to forget, a moment of genuine love, a moment that honestly has no words because the moment touches a depth of my heart… a depth not capable of being described by words.
This one picture represents this exact moment of my life.
The book Matthew was reading to Keats was The World According to Mister Rogers. I had put the book in Keats room as we were decorating. I had gotten the book from my dad for Christmas almost ten years ago… how do I remember when my dad gave me the book? Starting when I was young, my mom and dad would give Mandy and me a nice hardbound book as one of our Christmas gifts. In the front of the book they would write something so wonderful and include the date. Many of these books are in Keats room… The Giving Tree, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The World According to Mister Rogers.
After mom died, dad kept buying and writing in books. It was a way we tried to find normalcy in a world that was in no way normal. With each Christmas that came, I longed for Christmases from my childhood with my complete family. I loved that dad continued so many traditions that were started when we are young. His striving for familiarity was the biggest gift he gave.
Through the years I realized I would never have those Christmases again and at first I was angry. I was so mad that Christmas would always be sad because my mother was not there and with her absence traditions were never the same. Slowly as time passed, I became aware my longing for the past only prevented me from experiencing the goodness of the present. With this awareness came acceptance. I finally accepted life would never look like it did, but it did not mean it could not be good again.
And it has been good. We have found new traditions with new loved ones… and here is where this one picture comes into the story.
I sat there seeing my husband read to our baby boy a book my dad gave me during a hard time (a Mister Rogers book… Mister Rogers, my favorite show when I was little and would watch almost every day with my mother). It was a moment where the past collided with the present. A moment not of sadness but appreciation, appreciation for what has come to be. The hurt, pain, and anger led to this moment.
This moment represented the paradox of life… I would give anything to have my mother here, but her death has led me to this moment. I am at this moment because of what has happened to me. I would not trade Matthew and Keats for anything. My mother was my past, they are my present, my future.