One thing I've learned over the last few weeks is how complacent we become. All of us, in general. We lull ourselves into thinking that we have tomorrow. We naturally put things off for another day, deluding ourselves that we can do it tomorrow or next week or next year. Of course I have regrets. I regret not saying "YES" to the park more often. I regret that we never took him fishing. I regret that it took me longer that it should have at times to charge the battery on his police car.
But there are also many reasons NOT to regret. So many things I'm glad of. I'm so very glad that I have no doubt that William knew how much he was loved. I'm thankful that he was always greeting with cheerful kisses, hugs, and affirmations, not just by me, but by everyone who knew him. I'm grateful that everyone in our house loved to serve him and meet his needs, loved to play with him, never thought of leaving him behind. I cherish the nights I spent cuddled beside him in bed, singing his favorite songs, holding his hand, kissing his forehead or cheek. I'm thankful that I am confident that William never felt belittled or "less than." He was welcomed everywhere he went. EVERYONE loved William. In that, at least, he never faced adversity. His life was filled with love, acceptance, laughter, joy, compassion. Though it doesn't remove the pain of missing him, it is a small comfort.
But it makes me think of my other children. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Would I be so confident that THEY always feel loved and accepted and treasured? When children don't have special needs that they truly NEED you to fulfill, is it easier to let things slip by the wayside? Do they have my undivided attention when they need it most? Or want it most? Or is it easier to push them aside, to make them wait for "later" because I know they can fend for themselves? What about my husband, the love of my life? Does he always know how much I treasure him? Or do I just expect him to know it without applying words and actions? These are things that I have been pondering. Yes, I miss William. Desperately. I always will. But I also have a household of people that I love dearly, who need me to be present. They need my love. They need me to be present. They need me not to shut down. They need to know how important they are. That they are unconditionally accepted. Lord, help me to be THAT mother.