A slightly labored breath escaped the tiny mouth of the newborn baby boy I cradled gently in the crevasse of my arms. “You’ll figure it out little buddy,” I thought as I realized how strange it must be to learn something like breathing. Weird and wonderful to think that 48 hours prior breathing wasn’t even on his radar. When his tiny wrinkled hand slipped around my finger and gripped it tightly, the progression of my thoughts went somewhere I wasn’t expecting. Time warped into a different hospital room with an equally wrinkled hand wrapped tightly around mine, all fingers inter woven.
His breaths were labored also but not because it was a new phenomenon. No, as he reached his final cap, his allotted number so to speak each one became more exerted, deliberate, and full of intention. “You’ll figure it out grandpa,” I thought, as I realized how strange it must be for him to begin to fully know that time is short, finite here.
The juxtaposition is eerily similar for me. I remember tracing the lines of their faces with my eyes, taking in each feature, trying desperately to etch the gravity of the situation in my mind forever because moments like these don’t just happen every day. Feeling my heart swollen with emotion; immense adoration hidden in the warmest chamber of my heart.
Remembering now, I can’t help but wonder if their thoughts spun in the same direction. I can’t help but wonder that in the birth and death of the day, if we all desire little more than to grip on to the tangible love in front of us, to hold tightly to that which brings comfort and peace, to be cradled with affection, to breathe in and out.