Sunday, September 14, 2014

On a Saturday Night. . .

We're in September, and the Major League Baseball Playoffs are right around the corner.  The Mariners are poised to take the wild card slot and compete in the playoffs for the first time since 2001. They've never been to a World Series, but this year devout fans believe that they might.

On a Saturday night Eden was curled up on the floor after a long day of outings.  She rolled over for me for the first time - She'd done it for her daddy more than a week ago and we've been waiting for a repeat since.  It was close to 9:00, past her usual bedtime, but she was content, staring at the TV and sucking her thumb.  The Mariners were playing the A's for a shot at usurping them as the #1 wildcard contender, with a 2-2 score going into the 9th inning, and for the first time, I was "watching" a game with my baby girl. We watched Fernando Riley throw a daring change-up pitch with a 3-2 count.  We watched the A's try to steal second base, only to get thrown out by the catcher in a play that was first called safe.  Lying next to her I muttered, "Don't make me become a supporter of instant replay."  Sure enough, thanks to instant replay, the runner was called out, ending the 9th inning and sending the game into extra innings.

On a Saturday night I laid next to my baby girl and enjoyed a moment that I have waited for.  In that moment, I felt the bitter, and I felt the sweet.  In that moment, I never missed my son more.

With every milestone, every laugh, every back-to-belly roll, my heart floods at once with thankfulness for my baby girl and longing for my 3 year-old baby boy. I lost my son, and that is a hurt that will never go away.  Never.

On a Saturday night I laid beside my baby girl, feeling the missing presence of Gabriel deep within me, but also feeling hope.  With Eden, the impossible feels possible.  Living without my son, which once felt impossible, now feels bearable.  With Eden, despite the Mariners' ultimate loss last night, the playoffs, the World Series even, still feels within reach.  With Eden, though California is suffering in the parched summer of what is allegedly the worst drought we've ever seen, it still feels possible that this winter Bakersfield may still see snow for the first time since 1999.  With Eden, falling in love again with her, with Marcos, doesn't feel like a risk.  It feels safe.  It feels inevitable.  It feels like anything is possible.

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