It’s funny how weight can have such a varying effect. For example, an eight pound bowling ball isn’t too heavy to swing and roll but hold it level with the ground for more than a few seconds and it’ll get the best of you. We work and build ourselves into stronger people, but the beginning and end of a workout are so very different. For Jonah, though, 6lbs 6oz was the weight of the world.
I spend a lot of time thinking about what he would have gone on to be or do and how I would have wanted to teach him about the world. Day after day I wonder who he would have been. Today, though, a different thought popped up – I wonder what he knew and felt. Judging by how hard it was to get him to move out of place sometimes it’s obvious he was pretty comfortable; his mom provided the BEST pillows for him. The way he reacted after she ate certain things let us know he was excited easily, just like his poppa. And knowing how hard we worked to try and stay calm and focused at home with him regardless of how hard we fought everywhere else, he had to have known how absolutely adored he was.
As his father, those nearly six and a half pounds are heavier than anything else I put on my shoulders. There is no amount of criticism or judgment that can ever outweigh the love I have for my son or the heartache I carry in not holding him with me, but my pride as his father weighs heavier still. For all of the lessons I’ve learned these last six months after he was born, the one thing that stands tall is that my love is deeper than my grief. Love hard, grieve hard has become something I’ve landed on regularly and it’s absolutely true, but that doesn’t mean they are equal partners. I grieve for my son and the dreams I had, but my love for him is both the beginning and end of his life here with us. The weight of my pride far outweighs the pain.
As you take on these days, give some thought to the things you feel are working against you but go further than that – go back to what started it all. Our power in this world is routed in how hard we love and the ways we choose to share it. All of the hardest things I’ve experienced in my short time here have come on because I was either given the gift of love or chose to share it. I’m learning that when I think about the hard times – learning about his heart problems, being told he had no chance at life, sleepless nights after too much time searching for other T13 children – I have to take it a step further. We hurt so much now because we loved him first, and not the other way around. Grieve hard, loved harder. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”