I try to imagine as best as I can, you as a baby. My grandmother holding you in her arms, rocking you to sleep exactly as I am doing now. I can't quite see it, but I know it happened. It's so hard to wrap my head around the fact we all start out this way. We've all been held in the arms of a parent, or by someone who loved us.
I think about how you, Charles, lived in this very condo before my baby Charles did. You have the same residence. You have the same bedroom. You share the same name.
I remember the first time I came back here after you left. Everything exactly as you'd left it, and the air still smelling of you. My mom said I could take something, but I hardly dared to breathe let alone move a thing. I chose only the tiniest object, and the one that seemed most you. An itty-bitty baseball magnet off the fridge.
I don't let myself linger in this memory too long.
I come back to the present, and think about how the baseball magnet then traveled with me, only to end up back on this fridge. How Charles ended up back in this place, and while he is not you, nor supposed to be, this all feels connected. Inevitable. Strangely whole. This circle of life.
Into my head pops the Rumi quote, "Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form."
I get it.
I leave my heart at that, and put my son to bed.