An Interupted Moment in Time

One year ago in February our family gathered to bury and then celebrate the life of our Mother, Grammy, and Great-Grandma. One of my nieces, who holds a special place in my heart because she grew up spending many summers staying with my husband Paul and I, was in attendance with her family, including her infant son, Kian.
I wanted to hold Kian but, with all of the commotion I thought I would bide my time and wait until he was more receptive to unfamiliar arms. Besides, my sister Roxann and I were overwhelmed with still trying to pull off the calling hours, small family service and the celebration of life we had planned for the community, made more difficult as we worked from out-of-state. I felt like a loose thread being pulled from its stitches as I tried to hold myself together while racing from one spot to the next, answering questions, and solving small crisis.
I was also in the grips of the sorrow I felt trying to consume me as I said goodbye to my mother; one that was bittersweet. I knew she had been ready to leave the confines of her dementia ridden body, still, it was sad for those left behind grieving the woman we had missed for years.
Three days later as I settled into an uncomfortable plane seat for the return to my home I actually gasped in anguish. With tears clouding my vision I turned to Paul and choked out, “I never held Kian.” The prior crushing days, in fact, years, of my sorrow accumulated in the knowledge I had missed a wonderful opportunity to hold this precious child whose mother meant so much to me. I grieved for many months at my failed, once in a life time, opportunity.
It took over a year for me to finally be in the same room with the now toddling Kian as we celebrated the family milestone of a nephew’s graduation from high school. Of course Kian was adorable, how could he not be? Still in the stage where everything is new and exciting, he was mesmerized by all of the decorations. Joy filled Kian’s face as he played with balloons placed on the floor for him. His whole body shook with delight as he discovered yet more of the breathtaking orbs on a nearby table. Kian’s wonder and shear happiness enveloped everyone who had the occasion to observe him.
I too, watched with delight. At this point I was bidding my time for that split second when I could grab him and scoop him into my arms when he did not suspect it. I hoped he would give me at least a few seconds of his attention before wiggling free of my grasp. With that plan in mind I turned and became involved in viewing short videos created by his older cousin sitting beside me on the couch.
I felt tiny hands on my knees. Unexpectedly, here was Kian climbing into my lap. He wiggled up, as if he knew this spot of comfort. His small arms wrapped around my neck and his soft curls brushed my face as his head came to rest on my shoulder. Kian stopped the constant motion his little body had been consumed by and sighed. Instinctually my arms surrounded him as my heart thrilled with the weight of this child against me. The tears I had once cried at missing the opportunity to hold him now became ones of gratitude and joy. I clung to Kian and his gift of sweet toddler warmth. We were suspended there, in a crowded room, where the only thing I felt and heard was this baby I had loved and never held.
Kian graced me with his hug for a few minutes, time enough for him to catch his breath, then he was back to exploring.
I tried to secretively wipe the tears from my eyes as the room once again began to buzz around me. Even now, as I recall that my moment, elation still causes mist to cloud my vision; as I relive an instant of interrupted time so well worth the wait.

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7 thoughts on “An Interupted Moment in Time

  1. Beautiful, dear sistuh, you captured the moment with all of your senses; tugged at my heartstrings.

  2. Brought tears to my eyes! So beautiful and I feel like I was there with you. I am so happy you are able to spend this time with your extended family. You deserve the rest and relaxation!

  3. I am smiling and crying and looking forward to the opportunity to snuggle my nephew in a couple of hours. I will do so with a renewed for the opportunity to be ‘in the moment.’ So glad that life cycled back and filled in this gap.

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