Today marks the first big milestone since Lindsay died and I don’t know what to feel. Ellis was just 3.5 months old when Lindsay was diagnosed and he was my little buddy that first week when Lindsay was in the hospital after her emergency surgery. Ellis and I spent everyday that week at the hospital with Lindsay. I kept a Rock ‘n Play sleeper at the hospital for his naps and we went home each night. While dealing with the reality that Lindsay had been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer, I had to care for a newborn and figure out how to feed Ellis formula since Lindsay could no longer breastfeed. Ellis provided me comfort that week when I needed it most. He even started sleeping through the night that week and hasn’t stopped since. He was a piece of Lindsay I could always keep close to me. In some ways, it’s a similar experience to what I am feeling now--grieving for Lindsay while having to care for the kids and myself, but also finding strength, love, and comfort in the kids.
Lindsay loved being pregnant and she was so beautiful--so perfect.
I’ll never forget how we enjoyed a meal of Chick-fil-A in the Overlake Hospital parking garage with Arya and Nana (Lindsay’s mom), and Ellis was born a couple hours later at 8:11pm on March 22, 2019. Just like with the birth of Arya, Lindsay was nearly all smiles throughout the entire labor, and of course, she naturally delivered her second child without aid of drugs or pain medication.
Ellis immediately took to nursing and even with the second child you can never be fully prepared for the love between a mother and her newborn. Ellis is so full of smiles and loves on anyone available to pick him up. He is becoming more spunky like his sister, which he no doubt picked up from Lindsay.
One of the hardest things about today is knowing the emotion and sadness Lindsay felt before she passed because she would not see her baby boy turn two. It was actually one of the last conversations we had--talking about what was to come in the months ahead and how Ellis’ birthday was nearly a month away. It saddens me to no end to think about the personal memories that Ellis and Arya likely will not have of Lindsay. I constantly think of my own earliest memory in hopes of finding something from when I was their age, but it does not exist. I know we are surrounded by memories, pictures, and videos of Lindsay, but I cannot shake the feeling of sadness knowing this is all that Arya and Ellis will have to hold onto.
With that being said, their existence and personalities are a constant and ongoing memory of Lindsay. Just as I am able to find comfort and strength through them--knowing they are a living and breathing piece of Lindsay--my hope is for Arya and Ellis to find a similar comfort in themselves and each other as they grow and learn more about their mom.
To my sweet boy, I can never understate what you mean to me or the comfort you provided me the week your mom was diagnosed with cancer. Just as I do now, I held you in my arms as you fell asleep every night that week. You kept me close to your mom when I couldn’t be with her. You are our baby boy Ellis Ray--the name we always knew we would use for our son. Although she is no longer here with us, your mom loved you more than I can ever express. I will do everything I can to provide you all the love and support I can, always and forever.