Unexpected triggers are the worst. Sometimes the most innocent moments that I’ve encountered since Jensen’s birth have been the worst. Then others are literally so obvious, I don’t know how I get into the situation. No matter how innocent or obvious they are, each result in the same thought process. I like to refer to them as the Nevers.
Why the Nevers? Well, usually an obvious trigger involves a baby or child, but the innocent ones result in the Nevers. Never will I hear Jensen tell me he loves me. Never will I know the color of Jensen’s eyes. Never will I know his laugh. Never will I bake him a cake that he can smash into. Never will we have sleepovers for him. Never will I take pictures of his first day of school. Never will I know his favorite pie. Never, never, never, the list goes on and on.
And trust me, I’d never wish the Nevers on anyone.
Most of the time, I don’t try to dwell on the Nevers, but of course, there’s the triggers. My first ever trigger was leaving the hospital without Jensen. All of that. I could never leave the hospital with him. In the passing weeks, I found there were more triggers that stared the process. I avoid Lowe’s and Walmart. Pretty much everywhere there are newborns and kids. Not that I don’t love them and am so happy for their innocence and happiness they bring to this earth, but all of that was taken away the second his heart stopped beating. My first long time Never was setting up for my cousin’s graduation party. It really put everything in perspective. Yeah, I didn’t have Jensen here as a baby, but I’ll never get him as a child, teenager, and adult. I would never be able to plan any of his birthdays or school parties. I would never set up for his graduation and celebrate his accomplishments that will lead him into adulthood. Those Nevers sting and are hardest to break the cycle.
Of course I do whatever to avoid these triggers at all cost, most of the time it hurts others around me. I’m just trying to protect myself. Last night I was caught off guard. Anthony and I were in our safe place and enjoying a treat: Oreos and milk. I dropped my Oreo into my mug, looked down, and it hit.
I’d never get to see Anthony and Jensen dipping their Oreos in milk together. Never have to wipe off Jensen’s milky, hands or rub off the chocolate around his mouth. I’ll never get to see the chocolate stuck on his teeth. Never get to learn his favorite way of eating them. Would he watch Anthony and follow how he eats them or would he unscrew the top and eat the filling like I do? Heck, would Jensen even like Oreos? Something so simple and innocent that I’ll never get to know.
The Nevers. The unknowing is so hard. I didn’t just lose my son, I lost our lifetime of hopes and dreams. Innocence and happiness are gone.
Who knew a few Oreos and a mug full of milk could make me spiral downwards. I never would have thought it could be a trigger. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have even taken notice how Jensen liked to eat his Oreos. Would have I gotten made if he spilled it everywhere? If he was here, would these moments just pass on by unnoticed?
I wish I could go to every parent in the world and just shake them. Shake them and let them know to never let these little moments pass. Take pictures of them smashing their cakes. Let them roll their eyes at you when you take a pictures of their first days so of school, even when they go off to college. Record their laughs, it’s the sweetest sound you’ll ever hear. Don’t get angry at their innocence of breaking something or getting dirty. Document everything, you’ll want to look back on them. Watch them eat Oreos, you’ll get to know how they like to eat them. Enjoy those smiles with chocolate suck on their teeth. Wipe their precious hands and make sure to kiss them.
Make every little thing count. The most innocent, unplanned events are the most special. Live in their moment and hug them extra tight. Sometimes just dunking an Oreo in milk can change someone’s whole day.