When our little one was about a week old we were on what would become a multiple times a day walk around our neighborhood. About 100 yards away from our house I stopped and looked closely at the boy. Then I informed him of what I hope and pray will be the truth...someday he will be very sad because Mama and Mommy will die. And, I'm very sorry about that but it is his job to be sad about us. He is NOT allowed to die first and he will have to plan our funerals. So there, that is just the way it is.

I'm not sure if many parents feel compelled to inform their week old baby of this hope/prayer/rule. But, we did. We have both spent enough time with the sick and dying that we know all too well how close it can be. And, no matter how old he becomes, it will be our hope and prayer.

When my own father died at the age of 53 his grandmother (my gramama) was still living. She had had a stroke several years before his death and was in a locked in state (cognitively she was in there but could not move or express herself). However, when told of his sudden death, she cried.

La Pieta again. Is there a greater pain?

Meanwhile, our healthy, beautiful boy is sleeping. He grows and thrives...babbling up a storm and holding court with his "guys" (the beetle mobile that hangs above him in the crib). Yet, the melancholy persists for the Mama...and I resist the urge to scoop up the sleeping baby so that I can squeeze his chubby thighs and kiss his round cheeks and cupid's bow lips.


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