A Picture Divides My Heart

This past weekend, I had a truly lovely Mother's Day.  We always do the same thing, brunch and Hubby taking care of dinner so, in theory, I don't have to step foot in the kitchen all day (notice how I said in theory).  It's a lovely tradition that will continue for years to come, marred only by those Mother's Days that...well, sucked, to put it bluntly.

And I've had some of those.

But this one was nice.  Even nicer was getting all of the boys to pose for some wonderful pictures, which almost never happens.  Someone is usually not looking at the camera or not smiling or making a funny face or a weird body gesture.   But I was so pleased to see this:
Mother's Day 2012
Lil' C, Slim, Knox, and Baby E

I love this picture, this rare, beautiful moment captured forever on film.  As I look at it, my heart swells with pride in the family I have created.  It spills over with love for their adorable faces and sticky little boy hands.

But, it also divides my heart in half.  Because there was a time, not long ago when a picture of my family looked like this:

July 2008
Slim, Joey, Knox and Lil' C

And back then, my heart was filled with pride, with love, for those same adorable faces and sticky hands and stinky toes.

But now as I look at the current picture, it just makes me more painfully aware than ever that someone is missing and will remain missing forever.  It makes me feel as if I went and got a new life, a new family, and the old one is just gone.  The two halves of my heart battle for the memories, the pride, the love as if not sure on which side those emotions can reside.

The more I stare at this year's picture, the emptier the other half of my heart feels.  And that angers my current heart.  I don't want to ever forget what my family used to be, but I certainly don't want to hold on to the anger that screams that every picture should have FIVE little boys.  The sorrow that desperately wants to marry the two halves back together and make them one complete picture.

I'll never be able to remove any pictures with Joey in them from the walls in my home.  I'll just keep adding the new pictures to the former ones.

That's the only way my heart can remain intact.

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