I do not like surprises. I do not like change. I do not like to have things sneak up on me. I do not like to be unprepared. Or unplanned.
But I find myself right in the middle of the biggest life change imaginable - a life without my son. The second biggest life change was the birth of Michael. Now. That is a change I can believe in. This is a change that I can't accept. A change that I do not welcome.
This is not a change that I anticipated. Michael had a heart defect. Yes. But he was not sick. He was not ill. He did not show any of the signs that I look for constantly. That were on my radar on a daily basis.
He was playing with magnets. With his very best friends. And then he wasn't.
He was happy and laughing and making up fun stories. And then he wasn't.
His heart was beating. And then it wasn't.
In an instant. My whole world changed. My whole identity changed.
I didn't get a say. I didn't have a vote. Or a choice.
I do not understand.
Nor do I accept it.
As I was leaving the cemetery today, I was overcome. With grief. I laid my head against my steering wheel and cried. Big tears. Racking sobs. I let myself feel. And it overtook me. I am good at hiding my emotion. I am good at holding back tears. But not today. Not by myself. And I let them sweep me away.
I just want what I had. I want to give back this change. I want to check No.
I want Michael. Complete and whole.
And ready for Atlanta Bread Company.
Because it is a Thursday. And our family tradition.