I was recently thrown off guard when an acquaintance, hearing that Flynn had died 7 years ago, asked me if I pictured a seven year old when I thought of him?
I really needed to think about that, I don't know if I had even thought about what he looked like since he was born. What did that mean, did it speak to how I grieved or what type of mom I was? Should I be trying to picture a version of him at an age he should have been, had he lived? Do other mothers visualize their children at ages and milestones, can they age the last visual memory they have of their children and if so, why couldn't I? This was one of those moments when I needed to allow myself to be just Flynn's mom and find what felt best and made the most sense for me.
My acquaintance stood patiently as I searched for the answer.
"To be honest, he was only a baby in the delivery room, once he had passed away and the funeral was over Landy and I pictured him as a toddler because at the time Rhys was almost 3 and we really felt that we had lost getting to know Flynn as an infant, baby and toddler, the way we knew Rhys."
I was not sure that this explanation sounded sane, the woman shook her head in acceptance but I felt I needed to continue to explain.
"I think having Rhys, we wanted to have another child, while I was pregnant we pictured a child growing up with and like Rhys because at the time he was the only child that we knew. Flynn has always remained a 3 year old to me."
The woman thanked me for my honesty and for allowing her to ask, I should have thanked her for opening up a dialogue with myself so that I could be comfortable with my memories.
When and if I picture Flynn, he has a head full of wavy, dark reddish hair with a chubby face, narrow nose, almond eyes and full red lips, he is tall for his age but solid, everything about him looks chubby and healthy, he looks the most like Landy of all the boys and he is 3.
He is and will always be my second son, Rhys's first brother and our family's angel.