My mom had portraits done a couple of weeks ago. Her grand kids. She bought them all matching outfits, hired a photographer, coordinated dates with my sister in law and me and had the sitting done at her house. I wasn't there for the actual shoot because the photographer is my sisters sister in law (not the one who sent me the birth announcement after Caleb died that announced their healthy baby, pictures and all, born a week after my Caleb was born still....Yes, in case you are wondering, I am STILL angry and bitter about that card), and I didn't want her, the other sister in law, to see me and my belly. All I did was get my kids ready, drive them over and drop them off. I left.
Yesterday, my dad brought the disc over with all of the proofs. I sat at my computer with my dad, looking through hundreds of photos, most of them of just my two kids because my niece, the older 4 year old, has an enormous aversion to being photographed. She turns sour and hides and is generally a pill anytime we try to get pictures of the kids together. I scanned through the proofs, choosing ones I thought I might like to order, and as I neared the end of the reel a picture popped up onto my screen. My son and daughter sitting next to each other on the on the grass, smiling beautiful, peaceful smiles, both of them, their heads leaning in towards each other, her arms reaching down in front of her, his arm reaching across her, both of them holding their new cousin, 6 months old. The exact age Caleb would be, Caleb should be, if, if only. Looking at the picture I felt the air in the room get thin and disappear. My head spun. My eyes glazed over. I was looking at what might have been our family photograph, what should have been our family photograph. I was looking at what could have been. I was looking at what isn't ever going to be.
The knife cut deeply. The wound I like to think is healing, left gaping. I was mesmerized by the picture and despite the pain, I could not turn away from it. For that moment I fantasized about the what ifs and the if only's.
I let my eyes stay foggy, I let the picture blur into a memory, I let myself pretend I was looking at a picture of him.
Then the tears started to well and my dads voice brought me back to the reality that is my life. My life without my Caleb. I clicked on the next button and just like that he was gone from me again.
But for just a moment Caleb, just the briefest of seconds, I believed I was looking at my pictures of you.
i've been looking so long at these pictures of you that i almost belive that they're real
i've been living so long with my pictures of you that i almost believe that the pictures are all i can feel
remembering you standing quiet in the rain as i ran to your heart to be near
and we kissed as the sky fell in holding you close
how i always held close in your fear
remembering you running soft through the night
you were bigger and brighter than the snow and screamed at the make-believe
screamed at the sky and you finally found all your courage to let it all go
remembering you fallen into my arms crying for the death of your heart
you were stone white so delicate lost in the cold you were always so lost in the dark
remembering you how you used to be
slow drowned you were angels so much more than everything
oh hold for the last time then slip away quietly open my eyes but i never see anything
if only i had thought of the right words i could have hold on to your heart
if only i'd thought of the right words i wouldn't be breaking apart all my pictures of you
Looking So long at these pictures of you but i never hold on to your heart
looking so long for the words to be true but always just breaking apart my pictures of you
there was nothing in the world that i ever wanted more than to feel you deep in my heart
there was nothing in the world that i ever wanted more than to never feel the breaking apart all my pictures of you*