It's been almost 6 months that we've held Hunter's loving lil' body in our arms and listened to his sweet, innocent and cheerful voice. It's been almost 6 months that our lives were forever turned upside down and our hearts were forever broken into a million different pieces. It's been almost 6 months that we've been without our lil' love, without his smile and without his touch. The pain is still there and it's running just as deep, if not deeper.
I still cry myself to sleep some nights.......and there are times that I still cry when I wake. The images and memories of Hunter that cross my mind just completely wreck me. He was my lil' warrior. He was my precious lil' love that stole my heart and made me care about nothing else in the whole entire world - except for him and his safety.
I know that it's going to get better. According to all the moms and dads out there that have reached out to us and have graciously shared their experiences..........they say it gets better and that the pain is not as horrible as what we are experiencing right here and now. That the shock and disbelief do eventually fade.
Well, I am still in shock. I am still in disbelief. And I am still in a great deal of pain. So far.....it hasn't gotten any easier.
We pulled up one of Hunter's videos last week to pass it along to a dear friend of ours, and at first it was like I didn't want to go there. I didn't want to have to go sift through his life to find the one we were looking for.........there are too many. I had been putting it off and putting it off and then finally I said to Zen, "I need to find the video of Hunter on the beach in Australia for Wendy". He kindly went to his computer and pulled up what he had archived on his drive and as soon as the Hunter videos started to load with photos.........he immediately looked it over and closed it. "It's not here", he said, must be on the back-up drive upstairs. So I simply said, "I'll go look for it up there and will not torture you any longer. If I'm not down in a few minutes or if you don't hear anything from me....please come up and check on me".
Sure enough......after about 10 minutes of silence, he shouted upstairs, "are you ok"? I couldn't even answer. I was upstairs at the desktop........in a deep trance.........sobbing. As soon as Hunter's beautiful lil' face popped up and all the videos started showing his smile and his fun energy and all of our happy and sad times.......I got stuck. It was like I was dying and our life was flashing right before my eyes. All the pain came rushing back, all the memories immediately surfaced, and once again......my heart was crushed. I felt as if I was going to vomit it hurt so bad.
Zen rushed upstairs and held me tight and then looked over my shoulder as I continued to try to find the one particular video we were looking for........we were both destroyed. Destroyed for the day. We couldn't recover. It was like we were in a time warp and I personally felt as if I was walking around like a zombie all day long.
At around 7pm, we went and sat outside to watch the sunset and the flood of tears came rushing back. Zen took one look at me and knew what I was thinking about and joined me in my extremely heartbreaking thoughts. We sat out there and remembered Hunter and talked about him and his life and how we wished his life would have been different. We talked about all the pain he went through and how he always went through it with a smile. He made the absolute best out of every moment and we wished so desperately that he had MORE wonderful moments. We wished that he would have had MORE time to play and feel good.......more times when his body wasn't under attack from either the cancer or the chemo. I wanted him to have a life full of so many more happy experiences......where his body wasn't aching or too weak to move. I wanted him to be back in our arms, sitting on the back deck, watching the sunset with us.........like we've done before.
It's just so final. It's just so painful. It's just so cruel. We feel as if we'll be punished for the rest of our lives. I know that there are lots of really wonderful things that have come out of Hunter's life and his fight and all that we went through. We have found beauty beyond belief........beauty in life, beauty in people, beauty in ourselves. But the bottom line is that he's not here. He's not here to hang out with Ryder and be the amazing big brother that we knew he would be. He's not here to show him how to be strong and how to be courageous........even in the most difficult circumstances. He's not here to play with him and show him how cool Lightning McQueen is and introduce him to the rest of the gang. He's not here.............
And sure - we'll take him as an angel. But angels don't sit down at the dinner table with us, angels don't come with us to the park and slide down the slides.........angels don't ask for juice or come and grab your hand to walk you somewhere....or wipe your tears....the way Hunter would. We just have to assume he's "around" or "present" and sometimes - that's just not good enough. In fact, most times it's not. But unfortunately..........that's all we've got.
So we'll continue to live our days, missing Hunter, loving Hunter and remembering him and his amazing life. We will show Ryder just how cool he was and let him know that Hunter knew Ryder was on his way to join our family. When I was just 4 months pregnant with Ryder, Hunter would gently pat on my belly and say, "mom........baby". He knew he was going to be an older brother and he'd rub it so nicely and smile. Such a sweetheart. So kind. So loving. Always so gentle. Such a wonderful lil' guy.
Hunter cracking up as he spits out his medicine that we would have to mix with chocolate pudding to get him to take it. It wasn't long before he caught on to our tricks!
Sitting so patiently getting his cool mohawk when his hair started falling out.
His broviac port in his chest that we would have to bandage up for tub time.
He looooooooved getting smooches from dad...........always.
The best day of our lives. Hunter had an amazing day and we thought we were on on way to him fully recovering from his bone marrow transplant. We found out 2 days later that his cancer had returned for the fourth and final time. Now that Hunter is gone.........we are starting to realize how good we had it. Hospital or not, cancer or not, he was with us and we were "getting through it", doing whatever it took to stay together.
Man do we miss those piggy back rides.
Love you sugar pie. Not a moment goes by that you are not nestled in our hearts. Safe and warm and forever protected.