Seventeen days.

That’s how long we had once we learned you didn’t want to live anymore. I never tallied it up ’til now. I just knew it was January 22nd when you first told us of your months of horrific pain, and February 8th when it disappeared for you but swallowed us alive.

Seventeen days.

That sounds like such a short time to spend saving your son’s life. I guess I really spent 18 years, 363 days saving your life. Keeping you alive with every ounce of my being.

I was keeping you alive in the small ways, with warm cookies and gully-gully-gully kisses.  With birthday breakfast strawberry drink and Easter baskets, with fireflies in a jar, and 4th of July parades. All those days I spent keeping you alive just being your mom.

I’m glad I didn’t know the last 17 days were the last 17 days. I would have spent them frantically trying to not let go like you were hanging off a cliff and I was the only one gripping your hands. Then I would have died for you if God would’ve let me.

February 8th is a day that didn’t use to mean anything but now I wish I could give it back. Can God take back days? God, can you take back this one? You say You are a consuming fire. I wish You would obliterate and burn to non-existence the reality of February 8th.  Blast it like the breath from a fire-breathing dragon. Vaporize it into atoms that float away into space and never return.

But. I still wouldn’t get my Tristy back.

Maybe being a “consuming fire” refers to how much you hate sin. You’ll do that one day to this cursed earth and all the pain and suffering the evil one has brought upon us. You’ll do that to the evil one himself. Now I understand in some small way how much You hate it. And I suppose that glimpse into wrath-deserving reality is a gift because it never mattered that much before.

Because of that glimpse, in the tiniest of ways I am more like You.

We’ll get through the 8th as we watch the glowing lanterns float up into heaven, wishing they could really reach our Tristan. And then we’ll celebrate a better day, February 10th. The day God answered our prayers for a blue-eyed, blonde-haired baby boy with curls. Every day with him was a gift. Even the last seventeen.

Dear God, You did it. You really did it. You formed each curl. You let me look into such endless blue eyes. I miss them. Thank You that I will get to see them again. Can you please let Tristan see the lanterns? Let Him know that all our love is floating up, up up to him where we wish we could go too.  In Jesus name, amen.