Tuesday, January 17, 2012

899 Days

Today marks a sobering milestone.

The number of days since Josiah died is the same number of days he lived.

You may have to read that sentence twice to catch it.

It kinda kicks the breath out of you, doesn't it?

February 16th, 2007 to August 2nd, 2009 equals August 2nd 2009 to January 17th 2011.

899 days.

Strange, huh?

I don't know what to make of it. It's something to be aware of, to pause for, but then what?  What I am supposed to do with this knowledge, here at the intersection of this very strange anniversary?

From now on we are going to mourn him longer than we were with him. From now on he's going to be dead longer than he was alive.

Each day we have been moving farther and farther from Josiah. Each day the gap between now and then widens.

Yet. The opposite is also true.

Each day we move closer and closer to Josiah. Each day the gap between heaven and earth shrinks.

What was to what is, what is to what will be.

We can count the days apart, but we can't count the days until we're reunited.

Living life with enternity in mind is ... well ... mind-boggling.

A day under 900.

Josiah changed my life with one day. And then God gave us 898 more.

A lot can happen in 899 days, especially when you break it down year by year, season by season. Honestly, it hasn't felt that long. I had to re-do the math to make sure I was right.

Josiah's time with us seemed to last much longer than these days that have followed. Not to take anything away from our daughter, of course. She is the JOY and LIGHT of our family!

Our time with Josiah was so unreal, so full: new experiences, new rythms, new people, new sights and scenes. Life was very different, extremely abnormal. The highs were insanely high and the lows were excrutiatingly low. Our senses and souls were being heightened and stretched in every imaginable way. No wonder that those 899 days felt like a lifetime.

899 days also means 899 days grieving, waiting, wrestling, and bearing. And to think that I haven't reached the end of my tears ...

 I miss talking about Josiah.

When he was alive, you couldn't help but talk about him. Our entire lives revolved around him, we had to analyze his every breath, his every moment. We blogged maddeningly in the hospital as tried to keep people updated. Daily there were handover reports, assessments and instructions with the nurses, respite workers, and hospital staff. We would problem solve perceived symptoms and review procedures, looking for ways to improve his care.

If Josiah was present in the room, he was the conversation piece. That's just how it went. When we went out we were asked relentlessly about Josiah and we LOVED IT. We loved explaining for the one-thousandth time who our son was and how he was overcoming his medical challengings. We gushed as we talked about his character and his achievements. You couldn't shut us up!

We talk about Josiah in a much different way now.

Hushed tones. Less enthusiasm. We say more with our body langauge than we do with our mouths.

Just this week I got to talk about Josiah again. I was able to run through his medical history like it was 'old times'.

It brought me SUCH JOY - I had no idea how much I had been longing for a moment like this!

It was a strange and wonderful thing how it all came back to me, the rhythm we would get into as we described our son from head to toe. On good days, it flowed like poetry. Yet on this day there were the lags and gaps, and then the sad realization that I was forgetting things that I thought were unforgettable.

The very common medical jargon that we used nearly every day for 899 days was disappearing. I couldn't come up with the right words, I couldn't pronounce things correctly. I was vague on things that used to be so detailed and clear.

And I realize again that I am talking about Josiah in a much different way now.


899 days and then another 899 more. Another day, another day, another day ... until tomorrow wakes up to eternity.

What a merciful day that will be.


However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all.
But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many.
~ Ecclesiastes 11:9

Behold, I make all things new.
~ Revelation 21:5
- Andrew


Bev J. said...

What a beautiful post, Andrew! Your day to day journey with Josiah was amazing. I think you should write a book. It would bless many people, just as your blog has. It would be a great resource as well for suffering parents, for those that grieve, and for those that need to be educated. I believe it would also help you with your desire to talk about Josiah. He is so worth talking about. What a little fighter! He was SO loved! Continuing to remember Josiah (was just looking at my "Josiah trees" yesterday) and to pray for you and Marie. You have been through a lot.

Andrew said...

Thanks for the encouragement Bev. Glad to hear that your Josiah Trees are still going!