Thursday, January 23, 2014

Empty Spaces

Dear Christian
Your favorite place to have Star Wars battles

Today mommy and daddy moved your bed. Your room was empty your walls were bare. I looked at the spot on the floor where you used to sit and play star wars, for hours you would take out each man and find their weapon and their card. Sometimes you liked to take off all their helmets (and heads!) and lay them out in a line. After you got all of the men with their proper armor and weaponry you would ask me if I wanted to have a battle. You were always the cool commander and I was the bad guy. I tried to tell myself that your bed wasn’t you. Heck you didn’t even sleep in it more than a handful of times and certainly never alone. But like a good friend said to me tonight it was a dream, a hope of a better life. It was the hope that one day I would get to hear you and Ryan giggling till all hours of the night. I wanted to walk into the room and tuck you into bed and bend down and tuck Ryan into his bed.
I never miss you more than when I watch Ryan following around other boys your age. Desperate to be their friend and looking up to them the same way he looked up to you. I would be lying if I said my heart doesn’t break when I realize that Ryan doesn’t have his big brother anymore. He doesn’t have his hero to look up to and want to be like. You were such a sweet heart with a kind and soft presence about you. You were a leader and a friend to just about anybody who was around. (I am sure until he got into your toys!) I pray that God will help him to remember you and feel you and know you. That your light and influence will finds its way into his heart and soul and he will know that his big brother always lives in him and protects him. So Ryan is getting a new paint color on the wall and I am going to paint one wall yellow for you, so that the two new colors will blend together and I can keep a little of you in our lives. I still have not moved your clothes out of the closet and your toys still stand on the shelves.

Evelyn is only a few months away from turning five. I don’t know where the time has gone. The world continues to spin (at an epic rate some days) and I realize that while I am waiting to find a new way to live life continues to move and grow and change. Evelyn is still in love with her stuffies, she packs her bags often to have sleepovers at Grammy’s house.  She loves to wear her black and white shirt and pretend she is a skunk. She loves Just Dance and I can picture you and her dancing together in the living room. She always asks to do the ‘cat fight’ song that you two used to do together. Are you watching her? Do you dance with her?
On your heaven day we took the kids to stir crazy. She asked me if you had ever been there and I told her sadly, no you had never gotten the chance. She pondered only for a moment and then ran back up to the top of the slide. When she same down she said did you see that mom? I asked did I see what? She said, "I winked at Christian! He was sliding right beside me." And I dreamed for a moment that you were playing with them and keeping them company.
What an amazing big bro

You are irreplaceable. An amazing older brother that is no longer here. And sometimes I have a glimpse that God must have something amazing planned for our family. He will surely figure out a way for us to be happy again, for the gigantic whole in my heart to be healed, even if just a bit. I love you my little monkey pants. 
Jayden, Big brother Nicky and Christian = Star Wars friends forever 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

waiting for the sun....

sweetest face in heaven

Dear Christian
It has been so long since I have written anything. I have written nothing to you, nothing to God, nothing for others to hear, nothing to heal my heart. I don’t know why I have been so afraid to sit down at the computer and type. Perhaps I am afraid of what might come out of the ends of my fingers. We are only days away from you “death day” as I have heard others put it. It makes me cringe and my stomach do turns to actually say it. I would rather call it your heaven day – the day you met Jesus face to face. The day you learned it all, the day you experience amazing love, rest, strength, and peace. I am already crying and I have only begun to write. So now I know why I delayed. It is so painful to think about you being gone, so painful to talk to you. I have spent the better part of the last few weeks running around with my head cut off just so I didn’t have to be to mindful of your absence.

At the same time God has brought about a certain peace to my life that I couldn’t explain to anybody else who has not lost a child. I know now that when I held you in my arms and said goodbye almost one year ago, I should have said I’ll see you soon. Because I am certain that I will see you again, I will hold you again and I will experience a life of paradise with you and our whole family – together. These past few weeks, starting on New years eve, have been so painful for me. I can’t help but repeat last year and think of all the things that transpired until you left us. I can’t help but the think of the pain you experienced, watching your abdomen getting bigger and bigger, the hunger you felt while you starved, the desire you had to be free from the body that was keeping you prisoner. I can’t help but replay the conversations with doctors and nurses. I can’t help but see Megan’s face when she told me you were going and I should get up into bed with you and hold you. The worst days of my life was watching you suffer, and not just suffering but suffering with no end and no cause.
I am thankful you slept and were unconscious for most of the time. I am thankful I had so many opportunities to lay with you, and touch you, talk to you and watch movies with you. I am so glad that I was your mommy and your comfort. I am delighted that God chose me to be with you and love you and have you be mine. I wouldn’t give back the years of knowing you to not be experiencing this pain right now. I believe we grieve so greatly because we loved so big. We can only understand how great this loss is because we understand how special you were and how you and your story touched so many lives. You were an amazing boy who knew how to show love to an amazing degree and depth.

I wish you were here with us to experience Joshua first hand, to hold him and love on him. Evelyn loves to hold him and she is such a good big sister. I know that you would have loved to have taught him about star wars and batman and hockey and I feel so sad about that. But I also know that Joshua was a special gift, perfectly timed by God. He has so many of your characteristics and personality traits that I wonder if you aren’t whispering in his ear when he sleeps! Sometimes when I miss you the most I can smell the horrible plastic smell from the hospital and oddly it reminds me of you (probably the only smell that I would have equated to you) and I know you are around. I am not sure what else I want to tell you, what else I need to say. I am lost but hoping that soon I will be found. I know that God is constantly pushing me forward and holding his hand over the bleeding in my heart. I had a vision the other day of my broken, cracked and chipped heart. I pray to God everyday (sometimes every hour) to help me, heal my broken heart and the other day I had a vision of Him filling the empty spaces and cracks in my heart with a liquid that looked like gold. And I instantly knew that He has a plan for our healing, that God will not allow my heart to stay ruined. He can teach us to love and trust again. 

A special visit from Santa on Christmas eve
Christmas without you was difficult but I felt your presence and knew that your deep desire was for us to celebrate the birth of Christ. For Evelyn, Ryan and Joshua to have a magical Christmas, not one full of events, busyness and toys, but one full of love, family and faith. I feel like God has something great planned for us and we need to stay focused on Him and His plan for our family. There are so many unknowns and I feel as though some days I am not sure how we are going to move forward but I trust that we will. And I trust in God and I trust in your daddy and our family. There was a day when we knew amazing love, hope and pure happiness; then we had a day when I experienced pain like I didn’t know existed; so I believe we will not stay in this valley but God will lead us to that high place again and we will know that it is a high place because we have been so low. You can only know how amazing the sun is after you have watched the rains.

Today I am thankful for:
1.Joshua sleeping in my arms with his face all smooshed to one side
2.The little “streeeeetch” he does after he wakes from a nap
3.The way Ryan says lemonade, “grammy can I have some lemolade?”
Evelyn and Ryan lovin' on Joshua

Asleep on Grandpa's shoulder