Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Calling on God for Strength
Let me begin by saying, I do not feel the passing of Momo is my story to tell (although I loved her from the moment I met her, I could never compare that to the love that her children and grandchildren feel) so this will be told in a way that relates to my husband and our journey through grief with an added layer.
For those of you who don't know, Austin was very close to his grandparents. In high school he was very involved in baseball (hence Finn's predetermined future of being a baseball player and the softball fundraiser), so with his mother living quite a distance from the school, Austin lived with his grandparents throughout high school. Again, I am telling this all from a factual standing. I can't expand on the specifics of how his grandparents home on Elm St. became the stomping ground for all the grandchildren and their friends, because I wasn't there, and it's not my story to share. After attending and then graduating from Texas A&M University in 2012, Austin moved home and back in with his grandparents. See, it's not just your average grandparent relationship. Austin's grandparents along with his mother and father, raised Austin. Something I am so thankful for because they molded him into the wonderful man that I am blessed enough to be married to.
When Austin and I started dating in 2013, he was still living at home with his grandparents, which meant we spent many weekends at their home. I remember before first meeting both Momo and PawPaw, Austin told me that if I didn't get a long with Momo I was a goner. He held her and his PawPaw in the highest regard, and after meeting them, so did I. Although, I am not sure who wouldn't get along with Momo she had the most giving, loving and open heart of anyone I've ever met. The first weekend I was there, she offered me homemade ice cream, but went onto explain that it had caused her to be stuck on the toilet. I watched as Austin's whole body looked as if it wanted to curl up in a ball in that moment. But for me, that's the moment I knew, "Oh my gosh, I love this woman that lives life without a filter!" It wasn't until Austin and I moved in together in 2015 that he moved out of his grandparents house.
I share all of this with you because it's important you understand the closeness of Austin's relationship with Momo to fully understand the gravity of grief (another layer) he is currently battling.
Yesterday marked a month since the passing of our baby boy. And although each day becomes more difficult because reality hits a bit more, I saw Austin start to become stronger each day. Allowing himself to be distracted by something other than a video game or movie and allowing me and discussions of our future back in little by little. So when the news hit the day before yesterday, that our sweet Momo had passed, what's left of my heart shattered into pieces as I worried about my husband's ability to fight yet another battle. I loved Momo very much, but my love in no way compares to that of Austin's, so my heart shattered for him. My husband who is still in the midst of our battle to figure out our life without our precious baby boy. After my initial screams of frustration and angst, I went into prayer. Praying to God for the strength in the middle of my own grieving to get Austin through this, because, he's all I have left. If I lose him, and I don't mean literally, but if I lose all of the qualities that make Austin, Austin, then I lose everything. When he hurts, I hurt. The loss of our son has been the most devastating, torturous journey of our lives, and now I gear up for a battle within a battle. To save my husband from the darkness that will try to swallow him whole. Life isn't fair. But God's presence is still here, and He will provide us the strength.
Momo loved Finn with all her being. She would repeatedly tell me and Austin how he was her reason for living. The night at the hospital when we received the devastating news after Finn's emergency surgery, you could see Momo wasn't there. She was void of emotion like the final piece of her was gone. At that moment, I believe Momo lost her will to fight. She loved her children and grandchildren with everything in her, but Finn had given her strength after losing PawPaw. So, I know (we all do) that Momo is exactly where she wants to be right now. And who better to care for my sweet angel baby than Momo and PawPaw. My heart hurts for the loss of them on earth, but swells at the thought of them in heaven together.
Momo text me and Austin shortly after Finn's death and said:
"It makes my heart feel good to see that the things that made Finn happy came from Momo. His pool, his chair, his bubble machine..... thank you for being who you are. So selflessly giving of yourselves to bring happiness to this remarkable little boy. I love you both greatly."
Here are the many things she got Finn that became fast favorites:
Pool on 4th of July
Animal Crackers (Momo didn't mention this one in her text, but she introduced these to Finn and some of mine and Austin's favorite memories with our Turkey involve them.)
So today, today I am jealous of the angels.
I will continue to call on God for strength as I battle my own grief and as I battle with Austin and his added layer.
This isn't IT for us. God has something big and wonderful in store for us. It will never fill our void, but our story and our baby's story does not end here.
Momo, spoil my baby rotten like I know you are. I love you.