Sometimes I catch myself staring at Noah because I see so much of Austin in him. It seems like every day he grows and his looks change more and more into his big brother's. Not only is his face and build changing to resemble Austin but his mannerisms too.
I'll see Noah from behind and his broadening shoulders will remind me of him. Or he'll walk down the deck and way he swings his arms or turns his head will make me think of Austin. Sometimes Noah's laugh will take me back to a moment with Austin. And of all the things he matches in his big brother, Noah's heart is certainly a mirror image.
Noah will say things way beyond his years, much like Austin did. He has such compassion for others and a sweetness that makes me proud to be his Mom. Just as his big brother did, Noah teaches me more most days that I do him.
I try to not compare him to Austin and I never verbalize how he reminds me of him, afraid it will sadden Noah or make him feel like I somehow don't love him just as much. If he grows up to shadow his big brother, he couldn't pick a better role model to follow.
I cannot imagine the loss Noah feels in not having Austin around. I know it is constant with Tim and me and I wonder how many times a day he is reminded of him too. There are obvious times I see the pain in his face but most of the time I am unsure how he remembers his brother. Noah was only eight years old when Austin passed and I worry that as he grows older his memories of Austin will fade. When he is grown, will he remember the details of his brother and the times they shared?
As much as this blog is healing for me and it introduces strangers to the amazing person Austin was, Noah is a big reason I continue to write. I write so that someday he'll have this collection of memories ensuring the spirit of his big brother is never lost.