There are days where I do not believe I can even take one more breath. Moments where I cannot bear one more thought of what has happened to Jake and I. The loss, a palpable, bitter bile in the back of my throat that burns.
Does not go away when I swallow.
I dared not open the album of his baptism. Until this morning.
As a Christian and a joyous Catholic these photos were made at the time of THE most precious event in the life of the Catholic family....a child's baptism. I was filled with joy to perpetuate my faith in Christ in my grandson.
The waters of my Baptism had reached across all the years of my life and brought me home to the Mother Church. I would now share that with Jake thru the Holy Sacrament of Baptism. It was the single most important thing I could do for him, knowing my health issues and that even if I were not there....my church would be.
These photos are a document to this most joyous time in my life. Taken on a morning when this high strung little boy was especially charming for the camera.
The church had given me presents at Christmas because I was poor. When asked what I would like as a gift....I asked for a white suit for my grandson baptism, and a pair of dress shoes. On Christmas when I opened the gifts from the church ladies, there among the yarn, and a coat for me, and other sweet gifts.....was this stunning tux for Jake.
He would be the most handsome child ever baptized.....in white....just like all the other little children....a vital part of St. Eugene's. Something that I had missed out on as a Catholic....a childhood in the church. His inclusion in The Faith was so important to me. Maybe too important....because it was all taken away. There would be no future for either Jake or myself in the Catholic Church of St. Eugene.
I continued to go to mass for 2 1/2 years after Jake was #TAKEN. I did not hear a word of the weekly homily, and my role as a communion minister was filled on auto-pilot. I faithfully paid my tithes and the building fund, even S the house I lived in fell down around me. Surely, if I were faithful...God would perform a miracle and I would see Jake again.
Time moves on and no prayers were answered. Going to the church where I had known such joy became a millstone around my neck. I could barely walk in the door, much less smile and pretend that I loved the Lord and the Lord loved me.
I know deep inside my heart that there is a God, but for some reason, I have not found favor with Him.
So in the words of Khalil Gibran, "it is better to pass into the seasonless world where you laugh...but not all of your laughter, and cry...but not all of your tears.
I realized this morning as I opened the Baptismal album that I am indeed, suspended, between life and death, in a nightmare that I cannot awake from, heal from, or move past. As I looked, as if for the first time, at these precious photos, of a child who no longer exists....and is yet living...somewhere.
What shall I do with this unbearable existence. I do not wish this type of pain on anyone...and yet I know that thousands of struggling parents exist with me in this void. That knowledge makes this pain even more unbearable....that the God that I loved can allow this.
The adopter's worship at Lake Texoma on the weekend. Ignoring Jake's catechism and baptism. Jake will never know the joy of our community life at St. Eugene's. He will know nothing of our precious existence in our beloved church.
I ask you, is this the life of a child abused? Unloved? Not cared for? He was cherished by everyone in his family. All destroyed....for the "best interest" of this happy little boy.
I have left the church....for now....a sabbatical of sorts, to travel in the non-existence of marking time, making days go by, searching for an answer....Why?