A few weeks ago, my mom sent me a text saying that she’d been cleaning out her filing cabinets and came across some really nice pictures of Ralf and me. She asked if I would like to see. Then, she took pictures of the pictures with her phone and sent them my way.
There we were.
Just 18 years old, freshly graduated from high school, filled with hope and anticipation for the future that we already knew we wanted to build together.
So in love.
And, completely clueless of what was to come.
Mason sat next to me on the couch as I scrolled through the images. In his precious little voice he asked, “What you watching, Mommy?”
I returned his question with another question.
“Mason, who are these people?”
“Mommy and Daddy in Heaven,” he replied with a shy smile.
“That’s right, Baby.”
I took the opportunity to talk to him about his father. I explained to him, as I have many times before, how much we loved each other and how excited we were to have a baby. Mason listened intently as I told him, yet again, the story of how his Daddy in Heaven was a fireman who drove a black RAM and knew how to operate a big boat.
Then I explained that Daddy in Heaven was called to be with God while Mason was still in Mommy’s belly. He loves to hear about how the doctors took him out of Mommy’s belly, how his Yaya placed him on Mommy’s chest for the very first time, and how she fell in love instantly.
He smiled so innocently, paused reflectively, and said something I was not quite prepared to hear.
“I want him to hold me.”
My heart dropped into my stomach.
“Oh, Sweetie. He wants to hold you, too. And I believe one day he will.”
I pulled him in close, squeezed him tight, and reminded him – for probably the millionth time that day- just how much Mommy loves him. Then, a few minutes later, the front door opened and in walked his Daddy on Earth. Mason screamed in excitement and ran into his arms.
And he was held.
Sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way we plan or even hope for, but we must be grateful for the unexpected blessings that come our way.
I know with all my heart that Ralf watches and rests in peace knowing that his son is so loved and cherished. Until the day he can finally hold him in his arms, just like he always wanted to.
I truly believe he will.