A little boy around age 5… straight medium brown hair bordering on chestnut in color. Wide blue eyes eager to learn. When he smiles, you can see dimples in both cheeks, rosy in color as he plays with leaves on a brisk autumn day. He’s wearing blue jeans with a red and black plaid shirt and a denim jacket. I’m watching him as he runs around chasing his big sister. They are giggling. They are playing hide and seek. Before I know it, both of them have fallen down on a big pile of leaves and are now wearing them in their hair. They’re both still smiling. As the camera pans around, there is an image of myself, overjoyed, watching these children interact. Watching my children interact.
And then a sudden acknowledgement that one of these children was never meant to be. One of these children only resides in my head where he lives frolicking amongst the leaves of red, orange, yellow, green and brown. One of these children lives with an eternal smile on his chubby-cheeked face playing with his big sister whom he has never met. One of these children died… a dream whose flicker burned out.
This is Evan William. This is my son. A boy I never birthed. A boy I never carried. A boy I never even conceived. He was born on a dream so long ago with me as a preteen at camp sitting on a bus with a little boy very similar in description and having the same first name. Evan, named after my mother’s uncle and William, named after my paternal grandfather. My young warrior and determined protector by definition. The image of him so strong that I thought I was in fact carrying him prior to having my 20 week ultrasound with Sophia. Unscathed by having a girl, and completely in love with her, I just went with, “My next child will be Evan.”
But, there is not a next child. There almost was, a little boy similar to the vision of Evan. But he was not meant to be. Gone into a family whose mother would not suffer a mental break or two. As I mourn losing him, I mourn Evan. A sweet boy who has just plucked a dandelion and handed it to me, “For you Mama!”. His tiny arms embracing me.
Pain. Heartache. Tears. My son.
The death of Evan William… beloved son, brother, grandchild, nephew, cousin… and dream.