I have so many mixed emotions today. Not that every birthday isn't a blessing to be thankful for, but when I think back to Alex's tracheitis in December and what a miracle it was that he didn't go to sleep that night and stop breathing all together, well, I am just grateful...so grateful to see him celebrate another milestone.
I don't know exactly what I am seeing or how to articulate it all. Alex has matured in many ways, yet still has this insatiable need to laugh and make other people laugh with him! I pray he keeps this about himself always. Heaven knows we need laughter throughout adulthood!
The thing is, though, that something is different about him. I can't find words for it. I thought I may just be silly. I mentioned it to Tom, but he didn't seem to see much difference. However, one day my mom asked me if I thought Alexander seemed different since he was in the hospital. I knew then it wasn't just me.
It's nothing hugely noticeable, but there are just differences! I was speaking with Tom's cousin, Crystal, about it when we went to Oklahoma for the funeral of Tom's grandfather. Crystal had to let go of her daddy after a fatal car accident when she was only 10. She believes something changes in a child when they are faced with mortality at that age. That definitely made a lot of sense to me, and I hadn't thought of it in that way since Alex seemed to have no problems accepting what happened.
Of course Alex would be different! Who gets told you probably would've died if x, y and z had or hadn't happened and isn't affected? I hadn't even thought of that!
You wanna know the wildest thing though? He doesn't remember anything. He doesn't recall seeing anything supernatural or anything like that, but he just isn't scared. He already didn't seem rocked in the hospital. He was so calm and just said how neat it would be to see Jesus, but now, there is just no fear of death. He even told me out of the blue yesterday that he thought he may want to work to investigate peoples' deaths when he grows up. Uh....okay, I guess that's okay...
I hear of him saying things to other people...kids and adults... For example, my cousin Sarah told me last night that when she and her mom came to our house to ride out the March 2 tornadoes, she was fearful. She was sitting by Alex, and he said to her, "Don't be scared. If the tornado hits us, just grab on to me and we'll go see Jesus together."
Of course this is wonderful! But, when you have a very curious, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda son like Alexander, you sort-of, maybe hope that there is a little "healthy" fear to keep him from doing off the wall and dangerous things! When that kind of child just looks so forward to meeting Jesus and isn't afraid, well, it's like this mix of amazing peace and joy along with the wonder of how much you should watch his every move!
I can't be like that, I know. (Believe me, I tried to figure out how!) I understand that I have to rest in knowing that God knows Alex and helps him and that I can pray and trust God to station angels around my child. But, it's just weird...very weird...to hear my 11 year old talk like this!
And something is just different about his countenance. I don't know. I don't get it, but it's there. It really is! I'm not crazy!
So, in hindsight, this year has brought much growth to Alex, much of it not easy, but all of it necessary in shaping him for what lies ahead. And therefore, it's brought much growth to me. Again.
Alex~I just want you to know that I think you are one spectacular human being! You are that person who employers and teams look for...one that thinks outside the box and isn't afraid to take chances! More importantly, you are the kind of person God looks for...willing to risk it all for the greater cause, willing to say you messed up, but able to dust yourself off, swallow your pride, and try it again...giving it everything you've got! Man I adore you! What a pivotal year in your life this has been, and although I don't know what all you are feeling and thinking, I know that all the pieces of your life are coming together one section at a time. I can't wait to see what God does with all the gifts He has placed inside of you. You are gonna rock the world just like you have always rocked mine! You never cease to surprise me...and you never cease to make me smile. I treasure you son...more than I can explain. ~Mom