When you lose a child, you not only lose the life they had, but you lose the life they could have had.
Johnathan was just starting to show some of the stronger characteristics that help any parent “label” their child. Parents will have the “wild one”, the “difficult one”, the “quiet one”, or as in the case of Johnathan, the “happy one”. These labels are usually used for quick descriptions of our little ones in the presence of other parents or in mom groups on Facebook.
But if you really start to watch for them, you see all these characteristics that are slowly forming the adult they’ll be someday. At least that’s what I hope.
Johnathan was empathetic. He would feel the emotions of those around him and match it with his own. If Michael was sad, sick, or crying, inevitably Johnathan would match the mood of the room. He would offer comfort to Michael, even sharing his beloved Pacis.
He knew if you weren’t feeling well that he would just come and snuggle up next to you. He spent a lot of time sitting next to Daddy on the couch while he played his Xbox, knowing that just sitting there was what Daddy needed.
Johnathan was friendly. He was that baby that decides to wave when he saw someone in the grocery story. If you made eye contact, he was waving back just hoping to get a smile. He would flop that wrist up and down and just send love to everyone. If you were ever lucky enough to get a snuggle from this boy, your day was made!
Johnathan was fearless. I think being the second born gave Johnathan the sense that he could do whatever Michael was doing. If Michael jumped off a curb, Johnathan was jumping off the curb. If Michael could go down the slide, Johnathan was going down the slide. These two were inseparable and it was obvious that Johnathan knew if he was going to hang with his big brother, he needed to have no fear. Hand in hand they would take on the day.
So what could Johnathan‘s future look like?
I think his kind heart and joyful spirit would have lead him to a life where he prioritized helping others. I think he would have enjoyed being in the spotlight or at least knowing that he was making someone smile. I think he had the sense of brotherhood that would have lead him down a path to serve shoulder to shoulder with other like-minded people.
I wish he was still here for us to find out. Mourning the loss of his future hurts just like mourning the loss of his life. I’m realizing that the impact he will have on this world won’t come from the things he will do, because he is not here to do them.
Johnathan, I’m sorry that your future on this earth was cut short. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to do anything to protect you.