It occurred to me, last week,
I have a nice camera and I can take pictures of my kids!
So on Sunday, after church, while Tom was helping with tithing settlement,
I got all the kids dressed and took them over to the park.
We took a framed picture of Bradley and Bradley's picture chair too.
I got some photos of the kids with Bradley's framed picture too.
It was weird to worry about the glare on the glass and not his warm body anymore.
I miss his warm body.
And when I got home I did some editing.
And I uploaded some to a site to purchase Christmas Cards
and I spent about three hours going through all of the possible picture and card combinations.
Putting a picture, on the card, of the three kids.
Then replacing it with a picture of the three kids with Bradley's picture.
Neither felt right.
I mulled over it again and again.
I even signed one, "Love, Madeleine, Jacob, Charlotte and Bradley."
And at that pointed I realized, that Bradley could no longer sign the card.
He was gone.
He IS gone.
And putting up a picture of him does not bring him back,
because this is what my family looks like right now:
But I DID select a photo with his framed picture in it for the Christmas cards,
because I think this is the last time I can do that.
If I do it next year, Bradley's picture and age will look even more out of place.
Earlier this week I found one of Bradley's pacifiers.
I'm not embarrassed to say I quickly picked it up to smell it.
And I realized I cannot remember what his breath smelled like.
Time is cruel.
And today, in the car,
Charlotte told me that if I forget Bradley's name she will remind me what it is.
And that if I forget what Bradley looks like, I can take out my old pictures and remember.
And Charlotte innocently asked me if I'm forgetting about Bradley.
I told her I was starting to forget parts of his life.
I'm forgetting the medications he was on and things like that.
But I will never completely forget him.
I got tears in my eyes as I told her I could never forget any of my babies.
And I looked in the rearview mirror, saw her smile,
and I remembered perfectly the very first times I saw each of my babies.
How could I ever forget those memories?