As we were getting ready to leave church this afternoon, the woman in the pew in front of us turned and asked when Kathleen was born. I said simply December. She said, "On the eleventh?" and I nodded. "It's my sons' birthday, too, that's how I remembered."
"And you had a little boy, too. Henry."
I started, surprised, "Yes, we do."
She told us she had been there the Monday night before his surgery, when we had, at the suggestion of our priest, brought Henry to the church for the St. Jude novena mass. Father Dariusz had offered a special blessing over Henry and people had prayed for him. Barbara, she later introduced herself, had been one of them.
It made my heart sing to hear my baby boy mentioned, spoken of comfortably, with caring.
I don't know why it always surprises me when people outside of my close family and friends mention him. I have wasted a lot of energy worrying if people know about him, if they will mention him or ignore him, how I will speak of him. So when he is just there, in conversation, in thought and heart, it amazes me.
Sometimes talking about him seems so hard.
"And you have a son, Henry."
"Yes, we do."
It's that simple.
My sweet boy, you are not forgotten, not by us, not by so many others, people we don't even know that your life touched.