Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ten months

I love this photo of Noah, maybe because he has his sandals on the wrong way, maybe because I remember what happened right after I took it...
We were in Kingston, Ontario, for the day (across from the U.S. side of the St-Lawrence River, where we used to spend our summer vacations when we lived in the Northeast) and he was dragging his feet walking back to the car. In fact all three little ones were. The only thing that kept them moving forward -albeit slowly- was the prospect of an ice-cream at White Mountain, always a treat, even for the grown-ups, even for this grown-up who doesn't really like ice-cream (gasp!) but happens to harbor a serious weakness for White Mountain's raspberry frozen yogurt in a waffle cone.
Anyway we had stopped along the way by the old church staircase and I took a picture of the five siblings in descending order with the twins on the bottom step, then eveyone got ready to move on except Noah who showed no inclination to follow suit despite the promised treat and actually climbed all the way up to the church door. Sitting by himself on the steps in his oversized shorts, he looked like a little rebel. I snapped his picture and held out my hand. After a while he put his in it and came down. We started along the street again.
Just as we were passing an old-fashioned limestone tavern, a recessed door opened and a woman shuffled out, pushing a walker. She looked frail and her face bore deep lines. Noah glanced at her and pronounced matter-of-factly in his naturally booming voice: "This woman is very, very old." I was turning to offer an apology when the woman burst out laughing. She asked Noah how old he was and when he replied "three", she said they all looked like great kids and she hoped they were having a wonderful day. To me, she said she had recently been very sick and understood how she might appear ancient to a three-year old. By that time, the twins were pulling forward, excitedly debating ice-cream flavors. I wished the woman the best and we smiled good-bye.
Little memories that pop up unannounced bring back the past so vividly that the world seems to have been put right again. Then reality floods back in and for a minute you find yourself both smiling because of what once was and crying because of what no longer is. The truth is that contrary to all appearances, there is nothing ordinary about ordinary life, certainly nothing that should be taken for granted. When you walk down a street holding hands with some of your favorite little people, you better cherish the moment and engrave it in your memory: there is no guarantee it will come by again. Ten months after the shooting, it still defies comprehension that six years is all the life Noah ever had.

44 comments:

  1. What an awesome response the old woman had. Hugs sent your way MC. Take care.

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    1. Thank you, Teresa! Yes, the woman was very gracious about Noah's remark.

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  2. Beautiful photo - thank you for sharing; thinking of you and your family.

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  3. Beauty, even Noah's mischief was kind.

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    1. The woman truly had the perfect answer. But afterwards we did tell Noah he couldn't just blurt out the first thing that came through his mind...

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  4. I pray for you and your family every night. This small, little yet so profound life, has burned an eternal hole in my hear!

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    1. Thank you! It is a comfort to know that Noah lives on in your heart...

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  5. What a beautiful boy. For what it is worth, I try to enjoy every moment with my sons, even the crazy ones, and think of Noah and his friends. Wishing you and your dear family as much peace as possible.

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    1. Thank you, Al. I am glad for all the moments you get to spend with your sons.

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  6. Thank you for sharing those moments with us. Bittersweet. I bet he enjoyed his ice cream. I like the look on his face in the picture, he has decided that here he will sit & he's not moving.....
    Julia

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    1. Hi Julia, yes, Noah certainly always marched to his own drummer...

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  7. Kids can be brutally honest sometimes ;) I know from being around a bunch of them all summer and whenever I'm at home. Thanks (to you MC, and to Noah) for reminding me to take nothing, especially the (very old, and those not so very old) people in my life, for granted, and to cherish every moment. Thinking of you all. Take care.

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    1. Of course to a three-year old, anyone above twenty is pretty old, so this poor woman didn't have a chance... Still she handled it beautifully. What a lesson for us all...

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  8. Thanks for sharing such a precious memory. My first though of seeing your photo of Noah was that he looked somehow like an old soul sitting very peacefully taking life in from his perch not in a rush to go anywhere but to simply drink it all in.
    No ordinary young man. No ordinary grandma either.
    Thanks for sharing your memories. I am always touched.
    Take Care,
    Janet

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    1. My daughter always said that Noah was an old soul from the day he was born...

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  9. Thinking of you and your family, MC. It is ironic that one picture, one moment of time, can bring back so many memories and emotions. I am wishing you peace and love in the journey of greiving over your loss of such a handsome little boy. My heart aches for all of you.

    I am in complete agreement with Janet-

    "No ordinary young man. No ordinary grandma either."

    Take Care,
    Amy from MI :)

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    1. Thank you, Amy! I still have a very hard time with pictures. Mostly because the joy they bring is so very painful...

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  10. Everytime you tell stories of Noah just being his little innocent self but saying or doing little funny things kids do I cannot help but smile and at times giggle. Then I too remember that he is no longer physically here and I feel terrible. Hold on to the memories MC he lives on within you.

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    1. Thank you, I know he does and that's why I write about him. I don't want him to slip forgotten into the past...

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  11. Thank you for sharing such intimate moments with us. Noah is in our hearts.

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    1. Thank you, Muyserin! The fact that Noah lives on in caring people's hearts is a great comfort.

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  12. Thank you for sharing this. I still think of you and your family every day and I look forward to your Noah posts even as I wish you had a far better reason to share him with us.

    Many hugs,

    Kim

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  13. I think of you when the kids get silly, right when I need them serious quickly; when I'm having a serious talk and my little boy works "poop" into the conversation. I remember to stop, absorb, cherish and laugh with them. No where I am trying to go matters compared to the importance what they are choosing to share with me. You are more important to us all than you know. You have taught us much, most importantly, that love is timeless and limitless........ it lives beyond life. THANK YOU! Love to you, Veronique and the children............. I hope all is getting better for each of you, especially Arielle, I can't imagine my one of my twins without the other,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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    1. Thank you, Sherri! Neither could we ever... So cruel.

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  14. MC, I tried commenting several times but I only had my iPhone with a horrible connection in the middle of nowhere in the woods of Navarro, and I think nothing went through.

    I knew you would be posting and I was anxious to come to your site and read it - such a magical post, this one.... loved the story of the old lady, made me wonder about many, many things. Magical and non-magical

    wish I had been able to meet you in this past trip, I had a super busy schedule, but I know I could find a way to drive a couple hundred miles if that was all ;-)

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    1. Hi Sally! When I read you went to Big Sur, my heart skipped a bit. We almost did too (but it would have been a few days earlier). Next time we must coordinate better...
      Yes, this old lady has a lot to teach us, hasn't she?

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  15. Dear MC, thank you for sharing your memories of Noah. He is so very precious and will always be with you and your family as your own little guardian angel. We have him in our hearts and pray for him always. His baby picture is on my phone and my son's ipod. My daughter had a practise lock down in her new school and her class mates were frightened. My daughter explained to them that they were in grade 8 and it was only a practice, She talked about Noah and his friends and classmates as her friends were unaware. We have explained to our kids that Noah and all the children are little angels watching over their family as we want them to know that Noah and all his friends had happy days and memories with their families.. I am sorry I had to write this incident but it was on my mind and I wanted to share it with you that he is on our mind always. I think of you and your family every day and look forward to all your posts on precious Noah. I do wish you had to share posts on your precious for different reasons, but thank you for helping us know you and Noah better. Let thoughts of Noah only bring you and all who knew and loved him Peace as that is what his name signifies. We love you MC. Hope your wrist is getting better.

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  16. Dear MC,
    I know that each month on the 14th I can expect you to share a story or memory of Noah. I read each of these entries with great sadness and also with awe at how your words are able to bring Noah to life for those of us who never knew him. I still cry for Noah, and his classmates. I know that the fact that innocent children died so horribly in school, a place that should have safe, is why the events of December 14th has hit me so hard. I write to you each month hoping that somehow my words of support can bring just a small bit of comfort to you. I think of Noah each evening when I am out for my evening walk, and the stars first come out. I look up and think of Noah and his classmates and hope that they know how loved and missed they are. All my best to you and your family. Liz

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    1. Thank you, Liz. Yes, it is a huge comfort to know that you are still with us on this journey, remembering...

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  17. Noah is still booming his voice...perhaps singing...still sending my love to you.

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  18. Dear MC: Thank you for sharing your beautiful Noah memories. Your family is so special & I pray for your good health & the emotional well-being of everyone of you. I planted a flower garden during the summer & I had special-named flowers for each person. (It helped to "talk" to those flowers.) Through your posts, I feel I know you & am amazed at how strong everyone is. Please take care. Love from Colorado.

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    1. What a beautiful and poetic thing to do. I love the idea of this family of flowers... Thank you!

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  19. Hi MC, Thanks for the photo of Noah, which evokes emotions in all of us, as always. Who could not love that face? I enjoy your recollection of Noah's brutal honesty, as only children can do. He was so special to so many, like me, who never knew him. I will pray for your family, and Noah's soul.

    Eileen

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    1. Thank you, Eileen. Yes, kids say the darnedest things and Noah was no exception. I loved the way he could switch in a heartbeat from being a smart aleck to being the most attentive little boy in the world.

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  20. Hi MC,

    I love your pictures and your lovely stories that go with them. I was looking for it this morning when I logged on. Of course I'm not at all surprised at the artistry of your composition as you show such artistry in your words and bread making. You have a knack for composition and capturing the spirit of the person so well. How we've all gotten to know Noah through your pictures and memories. Thank you for that. It's a lovely pleasure I have no right to.

    As always, I think about you and your family all the time.

    Lisa Harper

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    1. You are very kind, Lisa. Thank you. I wish I had more pictures and memories of Noah to share...

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  21. This is such a beautiful picture of Noah, MC! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. As always, I wish you and your family peaceful days ahead filled with love and hope.

    Erin G.

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  22. Hello MC,
    I had wrote this Poem in memory of Noah and I would like to share it with you also.
    "The Light of Noah's Moon!"
    There are a few days every year,
    Which inspire dread, or inspire fear,
    Will I make it through, Will I shed a tear,
    I will follow the Light of Noah's Moon!

    Will I crumble like delicate butterfly wings,
    Will I gain strength as the songbird sings,
    We do not know what tomorrow brings,
    So I'll follow the Light of Noah's Moon!

    Will the Ninja's darkness cloud the skies,
    Will I remember his most beautiful Blue Eyes,
    He is always with you, now you realize,
    Just follow the Light of Noah's Moon!

    As you look up, Purple stars fill the night,
    And Pisces is flapping with sweet delight,
    For a hurricane has begun to take flight,
    Through the Light of Noah's Moon!

    It slides down to Earth, and grasps your hand,
    It feels your Heart with Peace again,
    The world is behind you, as you take a stand,
    To live by the Light of Noah's Moon!

    The waning crescent will appear for a while,
    You can catch a glance of it's mischievous smile,
    All the Love you feel, Your Heart will compile,
    By the warm glow of Noah's Moon!

    It is always there, each and every night,
    It tickles, and flutters, and always delights,
    Your sweet boy will live on, and provide the light,
    To all who see the brilliance of Noah's Moon!
    I sure hope you enjoy this and I will always keep the memory of this precious boy alive.
    By: Terri Rowe
    Henderson, NV

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  23. Thank you, Terri, your poem is beautiful. I will never look at the moon in the same way again...

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  24. I love reading your memories of Noah, although I never met him. I'm still praying for you and your family every night.
    Noah must have been a wonderful, lovely, funny, adorable boy, and so beautiful! My love goes out to you and your family!
    Love,
    A girl from the Netherlands, Europe.

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  25. Not a day goes by that I do not think of this beautiful baby boy. His face is etched in my heart and on my soul. I wish I could meet you and Veronique and hug you. Please know I pray to Noah because I love him and ask him to be with his family in spirit. God Bless you - you are a wonderful person and grandmother.

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