Watching the sun rise

Have you ever had those mornings in your life when you wake up and feel like you’re stuck in a bad dream? Like your worst nightmare has become your reality? Like there’s this shadow that can’t, won’t go away?

His nose, it was so perfect. And his beautiful wafer like lips. His pronounced jawline just perfected his handsome face. I wish I could have looked at the rest of him. The rest of him covered in that blanket. This morning my baby woke up around 4am and wouldn’t go back to sleep until around 5. I couldn’t go back to sleep. The fog of my brother’s cancer diagnosis was hanging around me. Like a bad dream I wanted to get out of. As I made a pot of coffee, I watched as the sun began to meet the sky for the day. And then it came. The memories. Remembering another warm summer night when we sat on our deck from the middle of the night until the sun rose. In silence. With this overwhelming feeling of dread in the air.

I didn’t want to go back there. I didn’t want to dig deeper into that memory. The memory of scanning my baby’s face and trying to memorize it because I knew I would never be able to kiss it again. I fought myself. I told myself I can’t delve into that deep searing pain because I have other things to worry about now. But then I remember, that I have to go through my pain, I can’t go around it. No, that never works. So I reluctantly go back, albeit I just can’t stay long. To stay too long in certain memories can feel unbearable. His beautiful long eye lashes, I’ve never seen a baby with longer eye lashes. His cute little nose. I can almost feel his soft skin and peach fuzz hair on mine again and as much as I don’t want to go back there again, I want to because he feels so close again. The memory is so vivid and real. He was real. He was real.

birds flying over body of water during golden hour

Photo by Johannes Plenio on


4 thoughts on “Watching the sun rise

  1. He was real. He is so real. It is so hard, wanting to go back inside those memories, but the memories bringing back so much pain. Your Joshua has touched me again. Thank you for writing, my friend.


  2. I prayed with you through the loss of your brother, John. Stood by your precious mama in those days after Columbine and prayed during her cancer worries. Prayed over your precious Joshua. Patrick…hits me hard. I stood on a chair and shook my finger in his face when he was a surly sophomore. Quieted his crying mechanical baby. Prayed as his huge self pitched as my 100 pound son caught his pitches. Have prayed through his cancer battle.
    You are a warrior woman. You are stronger and more fierce than anyone I’ve ever been blessed to know.


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