This is the fourth Christmas that I’ve not put up a tree or decorated the house. I have only been shopping one time, and I’m okay with that. My heart just isn’t in the traditional family gift giving anymore. No doubt, the reason for that is because I don’t have a list for Sawyer with “Mommy, this is my Christmas list. Love, Sawyer.” Now, Sawyer was nineteen years old and called me mom, EXCEPT when he wanted something. “Mommy,” melted my heart, and he knew it. “Mommy” persuaded me to buy too many presents at Christmas, take way too many trips to Taco Bell, and even occasionally pay his rent. I miss those times when he could rely on me, and he went about it with such tender affection.
Yesterday was emotional to say the least. A friend had bypass surgery Parkwest Hospital, and Alan and I went after he got off work. I didn’t want to go, but considering the seriousness of the procedure I made myself.
We were driving to UT hospital about the same time, four years ago after receiving a call that Sawyer had been taken there – memories filled my head.
Getting out of the car – memories filled my head.
Walking in, I saw the Emergency area – memories filled my head.
Inside, we didn’t know where to go – memories filled my head.
Talking with a receptionist – memories filled my head.
Waiting and wondering – memories filled my head.
A nurse came out with a report. I hung on every word – memories filled my head.
Memories filled my head…
We learned that it would be approximately an hour and a half, so Alan and I left to grab a bite to eat. Upon leaving the hospital behind us – memories filled my head.
Nervously entering the hospital again – memories filled my head.
Making our way to the elevator, holding Alan’s hand – memories filled my head.
A man exiting the elevator, walking toward us and pointing at me said, with a pause between each word, “Sawyer — Webb’s — Mother.” Oh, how it warmed my heart to hear those words again. I hugged him. He was Sawyer’s boss and said that he remembered “this day every year.” He said that he “loved that boy.” We hugged again, and I was somehow better. He did love Sawyer. I could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. How calming it was to talk with someone who shared feelings similar to my own.
Hearing Sawyer’s name, knowing that he was remembered and acknowledged, and being given back my identity felt like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a bitterly cold night. I swallowed my identity back down inside. Yes, I am still and will always be Sawyer Webb’s mother.
I had met Sawyer’s boss twice at the restaurant over four years ago, and I remember him coming to the funeral. How he recognized me and the timing of the encounter, I believe, is no coincidence. Sawyer (maybe God, maybe both) knew I needed those words at that moment, and my mommy heart filled with a familiar appreciation for my loving son, Sawyer.