Bittersweet. That is how I feel right now. Yesterday, Brody turned 7 months old. Last night he slept in the nursery with his sister and brothers for the first time.
Saturday, Adam slaved to assemble the crib, hang the curtains that will divide Brody from his siblings during sleeping time, and move the dresser to the walk in closet to make way for his crib. The room is beautiful. It is sweet and dear and houses the most precious beings in this world, but I still cried when I saw it.
I cried because, in another lifetime, the cribs were supposed to be arranged differently. Each little crib was supposed to be placed under the A, B, or C which corresponded to Adler, Boe and Cameron. Today, the "B" circle holds a framed quote and tiny little hand and footprints, little mementos that provide precious proof that a boy named Boe Holland existed, his brothers, "A" and "C", end to end so they can conspire in the night.
Today, the third crib sits on its own wall, with another precious little "B", Brody", filling it. That's what he does, he "fills". He fills my heart with joy where there was sadness and despair. He fills my arms with warmth and weight, where once there was such emptiness and longing.
He fills our home with giggles and squeals and smiles that Boe was never able to give.
In the midst of all these wonderful, fuzzy feelings, he also fills my heart with guilt and conflict. I feel guilty because it's almost as though I'm betraying Boe's memory by loving Brody so much, by smiling and laughing when I hold him in my arms; those smiles and laughs should have been for Boe. I feel guilty because I do not ever want Brody to think that he was a replacement or not wanted. I do not want him to feel that he was born out of some desperate attempt to fill a void which can never truly be filled. He was born to be his own person with his own gifts and talents, and we love him because he is "Brody".
Certainly, seeing the nursery ready for Brody was bittersweet. It conjured up memories and images of what was supposed to be, but it also painted a picture of life as it is. A picture of a life, that through sadness and loss has become so very full, vibrant, and a true celebration of God's abundant love and grace. It paints a picture of my life, a life that, for right now, I couldn't imagine living any other way.