Yesterday we started our lives with yet another “new normal”. It may not be normal for others but it’s normal for us now. I wasn’t sure I was ready to start work again but after my bad day on Tuesday I decided maybe it was a good idea to start my daily routine. The biggest thing on my mind believe it or not were my clothes. Dear Lord, my clothes!!
Since we had checked Joaquin in to Driscoll Children’s Hospital for his Fontan on September 30th I had been wearing the equivalent to nurse’s scrubs – sweats!! The Thursday before his surgery I had even gone to Academy to shop for warmish, comfy clothes to wear around the hospital. You see, for me, staying at the hospital with Joaquin meant hardly leaving his side and eating whatever I could scarf down. And yes, a lot of times that meant super greasy, unhealthy food. Who cares?? All I knew is that I needed to be with my baby.
When complications from Joaquin’s surgery started to arise I stopped eating. I became the mourning, weeping mother we all imagine we would become. But as soon as I received God’s grace and Joaquin passed away, my appetite remarkably came back. And so when we finally returned home that Friday my family was there to greet us with an abundance of food. The food didn’t stop until this past weekend so of course I was concerned with my work clothes. I had nothing to wear that would fit! Alas – I found that one last pair of faded black pants that still fit and that started my day just right. I may have looked frumpy but at least I made it out the door!
When I got back to work today I sat down with my colleague and we talked about the impact that Joaquin’s passing had on her as a friend and as a heart mom. She cried when she told me that Joaquin’s mass was beautiful. I had to agree.
I told her that I have never felt such peace as I did when Paul and I walked up to the front pew. I felt like I was finally home. When they wheeled Joaquin’s casket right next to us I could only smile. Joaquin was home. The music was heavenly. And when the service was over, Paul and I got up, hand in hand and followed Joaquin’s casket out. I was proud of Joaquin and all that he had done in his four short years. He did it the way that we all should. With a smile and with a heart full of love. And then, as we got closer to the exit, Joaquin’s music teacher and his daughters broke into a gorgeous version of Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine”. I’ll never forget the words that brought my hands up in praise and a smile to my face as I saw Joaquin’s picture by the front door:
Surrounded By Your Glory
What Will My Heart Feel?
Will I Dance For You Jesus
Or In Awe Of You Be Still?
Will I Stand In Your Presence
Or To My Knees Will I Fall?
Will I Sing Hallelujah?
Will I Be Able To Speak At All?
I Can Only Imagine
Oh Joaquin, I can only imagine your huge, beautiful, brown eyes standing in awe of the Man that loves you more than mommy and daddy ever could here on earth. Aren’t you the lucky one?
Is there a particular song that gets you to that moment that I got to in mass? Share in the comments below. I would love to hear all about it!