Midnight; Memories of Loss & Grief (Miranda's Blog) | overlaid on image of full moon at night (Miranda Hernandez)
(Miranda Hernandez)

It’s a little after midnight, and Charlie wakes me with the sharp grip of his teeth. He hasn’t been sleeping well, and he often needs to go outside to pee. It brings me back to his puppy days, though I guess he is still a puppy, even now. We went to the vet last week. I thought he might have a UTI, but the vet called yesterday to say he had crystals in his urine. We’re going back for more testing. Hopefully, he just needs to change brands of food. I love this dog so much, I would do anything to keep him healthy and happy. He fills my heart with every piece of his toothy, shoe stealing ways. He is the very definition of love.

Miranda with Charles Xavier
Miranda with Charles Xavier (Miranda Hernandez)

And every so often, when I’m snuggling Charles, I think of my son, and how things ought to be. It’s April now, and two Aprils ago I was hugely pregnant. I didn’t know it yet, but I was having a little boy. And he was active and growing, and I was full of so much happiness. And then everything changed. It’s still hard to think about change.

My son, Adrian James, should be 22 months as I’m speaking. I watch his compatriots; see their pictures; think about what it means that he’s gone–he’s not running around, chasing the dog, sparking trouble and love in equal measures. He’s not eating and talking and finding new ways to fill my heart with joy. He’s not here.

And I’ve tried to explain this before, but I get the feeling most don’t understand it. Because I’m adamant there is no way to replace this person who missed so much of his life. And yet I’m still living; I’m pregnant again, and my daughter brings me her own kind of joy. And I find happiness in her bouts of activity, and happiness in my troublemaking pup. Because I needed them both, not as a replacement, but as a promise that life is worth more than just pain. I needed them both, and I needed to love them, and my heart just gets bigger. This is real. This is love.

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