Your Story 19 Winner: Ice Cream for Breakfast

Out of more than 900 entries, we chose this entry, submitted by Tina Rivera, as the winner of our Your Story #19 contest. Judging for the Your Story #20 competition will take place in late September. For more info visit
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I placed a toy car on the warm granite headstone. Acting as if he was still there waiting to start our usual Sunday picnic. Sitting there with my legs crossed indian style while running my fingers through the epitaph on the hard surface. The 1 year anniversary since he left this unpredicable world had come so quickly. Trying to recall his smile, the sparkle that illuminated from his brimming brown eyes, and the laughter that no longer filled my world. Extracting the memory of that fateful day as I recalled holding him in my arms for the last moments of his evanescent life.

His back was exposed from the hospitaI gown that he wore, feeling the warmth of his skin on my arm. I caressed his cheek with the back of my finger tips and hummed his favorite songs. Hoping that he would find peace and comfort before leaving.

"Good night my sweet love. Mommy loves you."

I whispered into his delicate ear. Laying there with his eyes closed just waiting for that imminent moment. I sealed my eyes imperviously to catch a quick glimpse of what his stunning brown eyes looked like. I cherished every last kiss and caress of his baby soft skin as I felt his struggle relinquish.

Instinctively wanting to fight while I struggled to find a way, hoping for a cure to save his life. It devoured every ounce of my being. His 5 precious years of life coming to an end put me in a state of denial with the news of his terminal illness. Approaching his final days, I finally succumbed to the inevitable reality. Over embellishing the bleak hospital room with all of his favorite things. Showering him with baskets full of new toy cars every single day. Rolling the wheels through his tender fingers seemed to sooth and comfort him. Racing them up and down his bed, we would play and laugh during the few moments of energy that he was granted. Now sound asleep I concentrated on every curve of his angelic face and thought of the many things that I wished I would have done instead of being dominated by the hopes of finding a cure.

I would let him eat ice cream for breakfast. Splash in muddle puddles without rubber boots or play clothes on. Dig up the backyard hoping to discover hidden pirate treasure, and let him keep the creepy crawlys that he brought in from outside. Defying all the rules of parenting while letting him crack the eggs and do all the measurements no matter how awful the cookies ended up tasting. Getting him something from the store each and everytime we went. Staying just a little bit longer at the park, and not worrying about coming inside when it started to rain. Letting him stay up past his bedtime. Coloring on the walls, and staying in the bath until he turned into a raisin. Those are just a few things that I wish I would have done.

While sitting on the cool grass wishing that I had taken the opportunity to do those things, I looked up into the vibrant cerulean sky. It felt as if the earth was spinning at a rapid pace as I shut my eyes and lost myself in the moment. It felt as though I was in a dream before finally wakening to existence. I quickly uncrossed my entwined legs and stood up. We were in the park for our usual Sunday picnic and my legs began to tremble as he leaped off the swing and ran towards me. My vision was clouded while I fell to my knees. I opened my arms wondering if his translucent spirit would advance right through me. Not preparing for the warm embrace, we fell back in the grass and started laughing uncontrollably. Every inch of him was there with me. I gazed back up into the luminous sky.

"Thank you."

Tears of happiness rained down as I held him once again. Grateful for being given this inconceivable second chance. Hearing the harmony of his laughter and seeing the sparkle in his eyes once more. Cherishing every moment, knowing what was to come. The next morning, we had ice cream for breakfast.