It was a year ago. A bright, sunny Saturday, just like this one. I was waddling around with a burgeoning, burdensome belly, our house had just sold and my mother was in town awaiting the arrival of our new little one. Life was hectic, but good.
We were enjoying a mother-daughter day - lunch and then antique shopping. Mom ran back into a store to snag a treasured surprise - a beautiful lamp for our new nursery. I checked my phone as it buzzed with a text.
"Dad asked us to pray for Angela. They lost Maverick today."
I had just seen my cousin-in-law, the one whose name I inherited as a wedding gift, post on Facebook the day before - that adorable baby boy, only three months old, wearing the tiara his sister had placed on his head. There was no indication anything was wrong - no sickness, no birth defects, nothing that had ever raised a red flag or indicated this beautiful boy would leave this world early.
Like how? Like they went to the mall and mis-placed him? Because, really, they couldn't mean the other kind of lose. The kind of lose that refers to someone fighting a long battle or a foreseen ending.
My mother emerged from the store, prize in hand. Distraught, I scoured Facebook for anything that could explain this to me.
"If he's only three months old," she reasoned, "I don't think he could have wandered off . . ." my mom gently tried to prepare me for the most obvious conclusion.
But I wasn't ready to accept it. Especially not without details. I would continue to hope there was simply a misunderstanding. That there would be more photos to come and this was just a small glitch that would be ironed out.
Because there was no way that a little girl on the other side of the state had "lost" her Bubba. Or that this bright, beautiful day, the kind of day that just makes you want to get outside and glory in living, could hold anything other than that - living.
But it did.
And our hearts grieved. Grieved for a little boy we'd met only once, his tiny little body curled against his mother - I'll hold him another time, I had thought that day. I sobbed. For a mother I'd seen casually at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's - brief visits, ones where we watch the kids play and don't do much talking of our own. The one who shared my name and now shares my heart.
A year later, my heart continues to grieve. Timehop can be a treasure and a torture - and re-living those beautiful moments is such joyful sorrow. Joy for the life that was - waves of sorrow for the life that was "lost."
So today, this weekend, and, really, every time I savor the laughter of my own sweet little one, I remember. I remember Maverick. And I pray. I pray for those who held him in their arms - whose arms will ever be void of that little lucky charm.
His tiny life has forever touched ours.