My goodness, he was stunning. Low grade fevers give little children a soft rosiness to their cheeks. His lips were rosy as well. His blonde wispy bangs were feathered across his forehead. He was a near perfect image of his big brother, Gabriel.
I wasn't alone in my observation. A friend and fellow parishioner who has known us long enough to know Gabriel saw me carry Joshua up to receive the Eucharist. The look on her face as she gestured toward Joshua told me she noticed the resemblance. That someone else noticed warmed my heart.
|Joshua in May|
Though they mean well, this avoidance only causes further sadness.
It is a rare and joyful treasure to speak of the child that died or to see that he is remembered.
We sometimes forget that only the body dies. The soul lives on. Gabriel's body died that day. His soul did not die. Gabriel lives.
That Joshua is so like him is, at times, bittersweet, but what a gift. He is up to all of Gabriel's old tricks like banging away on the computer keyboard, getting into cabinets, and pulling tapes off the shelf. He even talks like Gabriel. He is his brother's brother.
It'll be Gabriel's birthday next week. He would be a big beautiful blonde nine year old boy.
Instead, he is a saint. I am honored to be his mommy.