Baby Taco: 4 months, 1 week
My dad is moving. So in true nostalgic fashion, he brought over two giants tubs with all my pictures, old sports jackets and even some old sparkly blue lip gloss. Also in the tub were hundreds of pictures of me and my siblings as babies. My cousins, grandparents and even a picture of my great grandma.
Memories have a way of sneaking up on you. Looking at pictures you’re suddenly wrapped in a world that no longer feels like your own. People have died, divorced, moved and gotten older. Those people in the pictures are not those people.
Life is too short. You never have enough time with the people you love. You take for granted how much people do for you. You think they will be around forever.
My grandma passed when I was pregnant. Since it was a high risk pregnancy, I could not fly to Jersey to be with her. 2 days before she left, we talked. She sounded great. She was excited to be a great grandma and then she was gone. There is never enough time.
In all the clutter of pictures and books are hundreds of pictures of me and my cousins. Before my sister and brother were born, it was the 3 of us. My oldest cousin was wild. He showed me music, got us into fun trouble. Being with him was like hanging out with all the cool kids rolled into one. In my baby book it even said that he was my favorite person. He and his sister were my best friends. Hanging out with them was the best part of my childhood.
Soon after grandma passed, my cousin also died suddenly. Not only did I lose my grandma but also my childhood hero. We spoke on Facebook but getting older changes people. We distance ourselves from family because they are the most critical. We want their approval so badly and when bad things happens, we pull away. And then they are gone. All I want to do is call my grandma or message my cousin and have him make fun of me. My heart aches that Taco will never meet them and they will only exsist in pictures of a happier time.
With all the sadness, in the world having Taco made it ok. It is so hard to cry in front of him because he’s so happy. I don’t want him to see pain. I don’t want him to feel pain ever.
Eventually we all die. It is part of life. Growing old is a gift. With everything that happened with my family it is hard not to think about your own mortality. I am only 27 but you never know what can happen. I think what makes these feelings worse is now it’s not just about me. I have Taco, my husband, hell, even the cats, I have a family. I never want to leave them. I never want Taco to feel alone.
But it will happen. Eventually I will have to teach Taco about heaven. About how my grandma and cousin are angels that watch over him and just because you can’t see them it doesn’t mean they are not there.
I look for signs now. Anything to see if they visited. When I clean the house now I savor the smell of pine sol. Or when I listen to rap, I picture me and my cousin upstairs at my grandmas house explaining the lyrics. I may have not always been there when they were living but the pain of missing them is too much sometimes. I wish I could be there now. I wish I didn’t take them so for granted.
I wish there is something I could say to Taco when that conversation comes up that won’t make him be afraid. But no matter what. Having someone leave is scary. It’s never long enough.