I figure if I am going to ask y’all to bare your souls, I should probably bare mine. So here goes.
I had/HAVE a stepson, his name was/IS Brody. He passed away in 2006 from SUDEP, which is a nicely wrapped bow for unexplained death in epilepsy patients. I know how much this destroyed me….Brody’s mother is a far stronger woman than I. I will always defer to her for what she has been through.
His father and I were close friends before his birth, and we became a couple in 1999, when Brody was 2.5 years old.
We did everything together, including fight each other, and fight Brody’s mother (whom I am close with to this day – LOVE YOU JO!!!!). He asked us often if he could have a brother or sister, but I was fresh out of college and not interested yet. He was enough for me, and I figured I had lots of time. Everything was perfect. We were all young enough to enjoy each other and the concept of growing a family.
When he died, we didn’t feel so fucking perfect. Or even adequate. Or like whole people. We were actually in the midst of a break-up when my phone rang at work on September 11th, 2006. His father came back that night and we have never been apart since.
The point of this post is not to invoke sympathy, though it may seem that way so far. My intention in writing this is to provide some perspective.
No one will ever convince me that Brody dying has a silver lining, or that any good can come from it. Only people who haven’t buried their children impart that bullshit to each other – believe me, I have imparted it more than enough times.
What I will say, though, is that his passing has definitely taught us both to slow down, take time, and chill the fuck out. After one very painful miscarriage, Brody’s baby sister Morgan was born this year, as you know from previous posts, and she will know him as well as we do.
She will benefit from his wisdom, his teaching us that life is fleeting, gone in a flash, and can leave you in the dust. We don’t give a shit about ‘bottle at 7, bed at 8’. She has a schedule, as we surely know that babies need them, but we let her decide too. We know her cues and her body language well enough to know what she needs, so as much as we guide her she guides us too.
I get caught up in the baby schedule, and the whens-and-wherefores of her development, but thankfully we have enough pictures of Brody around to remind me that in the grand scheme of things, all that matters is that Morgan remembers a childhood filled with laughter, wonder, singing, adventure, and fun.