That’s who I imagine you are. Lucas Warren Baker. I preferred Lucas Thomas but your mother insisted that Warren rolled off the tongue better. She was right, of course. So Lucas Warren it is.
The cruel reality is that we will never know for sure. We will never get to meet you. We will never get to discover who you are. We will never get to know you, to play with you, to laugh with you, to help you navigate your journey through life. We will never get to pick you up when you fall, or even better, to teach you how to pick yourself up.
I will never get to study your face as you sleep in your crib, blissfully unaware of me as I daydream about who you might grow up to be. Maybe you would have felt my presence there. Maybe it would have made you feel safe. Maybe it would have made you feel loved.
I miss the hope of you. I miss the promise of you. I miss the dreams that I have already had for you, and all the dreams that would have come after you arrived here. I even miss feeling guilty about hoping that you would be a son, a son named Luke. That is who I still imagine you to be. We will never know otherwise so that will always be who you were, who you are.
You would have liked your brothers and sisters. I am sure of that. They would have taught you so much. Josh could have taught you all about computers and tennis, but also kindness and compassion. You would have looked up to him, both for his physical strength and strength of character. He would have been your gentle giant, caring and nurturing, improbably so.
Caleb could have taught you how to throw a baseball and a football. He could have taught you how to perfect your crossover and how to get off an ill advised step back jumper. He would have driven me crazy teaching you all manner of inefficient moves I would rather you not know. You would have marveled at his athleticism. You would have marveled at his shoes. You would have marveled at him. And he would have eaten it up and spoiled the heck out of you.
Maggie could have taught you the benefits of immersing yourself in fantastic worlds. She could have opened your imagination to be able to see everything that I can’t. She would have shown you the value of a good book, or better yet a good series of books, as well as the value of binge watching Netflix on days where there is no school. She would have played with your hair, and probably put you in a dress and makeup just like she did with Caleb when he was younger. You would have been so pretty when she got done with you.
Phoebe would have been a good big sister to you, too. You would have had more time with her than the others. I imagine the two of you would have been very close. Her energy, her precociousness, her spark, I am sure they would all have rubbed off on you. How could they not? I know you would have loved her and looked up to her. She is a special girl. You would have been a special boy, too. I have no doubt about that.
They would have been more patient with you than I would have been. They would also have let you know all about my shortcomings. We all have shortcomings. Our family is one that loves each other, shortcomings and all. We all would have loved you so much.
You mother and I would have loved you. How we would have loved you. We love you now having never met you. We are heartbroken now that we never will.
I don’t know where you are, Luke. I don’t even know if you are Luke, or if you would have been. But I miss you. I wish more than anything that you could come home. I wish for all the world that you would come back home. Because for one brief, glorious morning we knew that you would be here. You were home. You were home in our hearts. You were home in our minds. You were home in our hopes and in our dreams.
I want to call you home, even though I know you’re not coming. Not anymore.
Come home, Luke. Please come home.
Your mother and I miss you terribly.