A lot of chapters of my life right now are ending. On so many levels, change is raining down on us. We are planting roots. Growing up. And saying goodbye.
We are moving this week. To a house we bought. In a good school district. With that back yard and garage we swore we didn’t need. With those neighbors that I guess for the first time feel and act like us. And while this new place does not feed that piece of my soul that is searching for life. It does not offer me that wild abandonment that this apartment has. It gives me so much more. An end to all that searching. A new start.
A house that will be a home.
So tonight is our last night in our little apartment in the heart of Denver. With the views of the highway. And the city lights that still take my breath away.
And tomorrow is our new day.
But this move feels small to me. Insignificant. And I am having trouble even caring about it today. Partly because we have movers that are packing and unpacking us. (That helps!) But mostly, because my heart is somewhere else.
Today was Lucas’ last day of therapy. Ever. After a month of testing, reevaluating, questioning and observing. The time has come to move on and say goodbye.
Renee came today. Like she does every Tuesday. But today was different. And instantly Lucas and I recognized that she didn’t have her big bag.
“Where’s your bag, Miss Renee?”
“Yeah, you don’t have your bag?”
It was like we didn’t recognize her without it. That Mary Poppins bag of magic. With toys that turned my little one into a real boy.
“I don’t need it today, Lucas. We are just going to say goodbye.”
My heart sank. My throat. That all too familiar lump.
Lucas beat me to the punch. He started crying. The tears. They flowed from his eyes in the most genuine, heart-wrenching, outpouring of emotion.
“It’s ok to be sad, Lucas.”
She buried her head next to him in the pillow. She waited.
Then looked to me.
“It’s ok to let him feel. To let him be sad.”
So we waited for Lucas to process. In a dark cloud of sadness.
He’s ready. By all of his tests. All of his evaluations. This boy of mine is three. All levels of his development were checked with age appropriate. A term I have never heard for my boy until now. I am just not sure if I am ready.
The truth is I almost don’t believe it. But he has been ready. For quite some time. It was just hard for us all to let go. We held on to Renee. For fear that if she left us, she would take back with her everything she had given us. I mean I know he is caught up. I see it every day. Every single moment. Those eyes. That soul. This little personality that is exploding. This mind that is learning. And a mouth that is talking, and singing, and even counting. A boy that is happy. And alive. A kid with a bright future.
We now know what we were missing. And that fear of losing it again is paralyzing.
My Lucas. (deep sigh.)
I still deep sigh when I say his name. But for so many different reasons now.
It’s not hard to talk about him anymore. There is no need to explain him. He’s just Lucas. My Lucas. And you or anyone else can just go get to know him yourself now. And you should. He’s amazing.
Oh this post. I have been dreaming of writing this posts. Sometimes when days seem long and hard. Or Lucas seems just so far behind. Or his therapy seems to overwhelm us. And suck all the oxygen out of the room. I would think to myself that one day. One day off in the future. This chapter of our lives would come to an end. So I would take a deep breath, roll up my sleeves, and put on my armor. Ready for the fight. Because it is so worth it to have this day.
My Lucas. My boy. I don’t even know what to say to you today. You, my heart, have overcome something so much bigger than you. And while every bit of my being as a mother is so proud of you. There is a strength in you that very few men have. But, I want you to know that you did not do it alone. That so many people have walked along beside you. Even when you thought you were alone. When the world seemed so far from you. You were not alone. Your dad and I. Your brother and sister. Amy. Megan. Brittany. And especially, Miss Renee. They went in front of you. Cleared a path. Carried you when you were too scared to move forward. Because they believed in you. I believe in you. And you are so worth fighting for. I am so happy for you. My heart is full because of you.
But for today, we are learning to say goodbye. A sadness that is as deep as our joys.
We all watched Renee walk away. And Lucas ran after her. She dropped to her knees. And he jumped in her arms. And wrapped his little hands around her neck and kissed her on the cheek. She met him tear for tear.
“Don’t you forget about me Lucas Soderberg.”
How could we ever forget her?
My Lucas. Oh be still my heart.