We are still here.
The kids all have their moments of sadness. And that is okay. We talk about Auggie a lot. He affected so much of our day-to-day activities. And it just feels weird with the gaping absence of Auggie, comes the empty minutes of the day, where I find myself seeking activity or sleep. The wide open expanse of time is foreign. And I am unsure of what that looks like long-term.
Our house is strange to me. I see Auggie’s possessions. His tiny clothes. His medical equipment. His crib. His pillows and blankets. I see them, but not Auggie, and I am not sure that will ever be normal. I cling to the little remembrances. Even the things I used to find exceedingly annoying. The last hospital bill. The last of his laundry. The last phone call to cancel his doctors’ appointments.
I have lots of odd questions. We applied for Auggie’s passport the week before he died. What happens to that? Does he still get one? Will I find his sweet face on a passport in the mail this week? Adam and Asher’s passports have arrived. And I assume, if Auggie’s passport was approved, that his will be here soon.
Logic and emotion.
I find some solace in the communication from so many that are now interested in the realities of children without families. For some reason, Auggie’s death pushed families considering adopting or fostering into families committed. And I do like that.
I have always been logical. My husband finds it wildly irritating. That is what comes as a byproduct of having George as my dad. I know the chances in this life of dying are 100%. No one will escape. I also know that we were told Auggie’s life expectancy was likely shorter than most. But my emotions, my heart…I just want to hold my teeny boy.
In our family, he was spoiled. If we put him down, he pouted and fussed. SO spoiled. I single-handedly did that to him. And I am not even a tiny bit sorry about it. He was attached to a human being almost all day. When we first met him, he hyperventilated every time I picked him up. It was so extreme, that I had to face him away from me for him to tolerate being touched at all. It was all I could do to keep from squeezing him and squishing him close to me. His terror later dissolved into needing and wanting to be around familiar humans at all times. Which is entirely amazing.
I can get angry at the injustice of it all. The fact that Auggie spent 4 years and 7 months being systematically starved, almost to death. He was alone. Entirely alone. He is the weakest, strongest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Going forward. And all the questions.
We get invasive questions at times, and that is okay sometimes and sometimes not…I can forget that we are somewhat conspicuous. Our normal is not everyone’s normal. So, let me clear up a few things all in one big blob:
Our kids are doing pretty well. We don’t need any food, but we do love company. Yes, there are thousands of children like Auggie, he was not the exception. If international adoption is not for you, there are 104,000 children in the U.S. foster system that need a family. If you really need to bring us something, bring toilet paper or ranch dressing, we never seem to have enough. Auggie’s body was not at his memorial service because we allowed our kids to decide what they were most comfortable with…and the consensus was that they wanted him cremated and to be in our house, with us. I don’t know if we will adopt again. We might. But I am feeling a little gun-shy at present.
This will be another last for me. The last blog dedicated entirely to Auggie and grief. His life is over, but his story is not. I cannot re-live and re-think and second guess Auggie for the entirety of my life. Auggie was beautiful and brave. He demanded and possessed courage and patience…qualities that remain elusive and unnatural to humans, and only seem to emerge through sufferings and hurts.
I am not sure I can ever properly explain the impact our boy has had.
I hope he inspired others to step blindly, to reach into the darkness, unseeing, unknowing…
To go and do.
I stated before that the time is now…but that isn’t correct. I was so wrong. The time has long passed, and we have missed the boat. Children are dying. And not dying like Auggie did…loved, warm, protected, fed, with a family…They are dying alone.
This is not okay. This will never be okay.
Auggie was and is interesting to the public, his life considered a humanitarian anomaly. Even though that isn’t accurate. Some of Auggie’s story is quiet and reserved and will remain with us. He was our son, our brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, friend. We knew him. His quirks, his likes, his dislikes. His pooping habits. His ticklish spots. We knew him. And now, he isn’t here.
And I am attempting gratitude. Even in this choking grief.
Gratitude for the short life that blessed our family.
For all the hard things we thought we couldn’t do, but we absolutely could.
We learned patience. And courage. Lessons Auggie learned years ago, and modeled so well.
We learned to speak for those with no voice.Whether it was popular or not.
We are learning to choose gratitude, even when we have a hard time feeling it.
We saw our hurting boy be bold and brave. And so we learned we could do that too.
I will hold these lessons dear for the remainder of my life, until I see my son again.
This is Auggie’s legacy.
We are still here.