525,600 Minutes

Dear Carter,

A year has passed since The Day.  The day a phone call shattered my innocence and ripped out my heart. Somehow the world has kept turning. Somehow the sun still rises and sets. Somehow I’m still breathing even though you’re not.

I’ve fallen apart about a hundred times today as the flashbacks crashed over me like waves in a hurricane. I remember speeding to the hospital. Yelling “MY SON” at the receptionist, because I couldn’t remember any other words. Watching the medical team give you chest compressions. Hearing the doctor say “final pulse check.” Shaking my head every time someone asked me if they could get me anything. The doctor’s eyes behind his glasses. Biting off all my fingernails. Calling Gigi and Papa and having to tell them “It’s not good.” My breasts leaking your undrunk milk through my shirt.

A thousand tiny movies in my head, a trillion tears, a whole year without your smile has left me changed. Bereft and broken, yes. But also better. You made me stronger and wiser and more honest and more open and more thankful. You taught me lessons I didn’t know I needed to learn. You continue to teach me patience and joyfulness and peace. You show me every day just how much love my heart is able to feel.

I don’t know what life would be like if you hadn’t died. I wonder about that so often. What you’d be learning and what you’d look like and what things you’d love and hate. But I do know what life would be like if you hadn’t been born. And no matter how much it hurts that you’re gone, I wouldn’t trade it. I wouldn’t give up the chance to be your mom. And I wouldn’t give back the woman I’ve become for who I used to be.

I miss you so much, son. I can’t wait to see you and hold you and smell you again. No matter how many more years I have to live without you, I’ll be waiting for that day. Thinking of you happy and whole and free where you are gives me comfort. Thank you for all the ways you show me your love. I know you’re never very far from me. My heart is open to all the things you still have to teach me. You are my song and I love you with every breath I breathe.

How do you measure a year? How about love.  

I kiss you.

Love you forever and ever,



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