Five years ago tonight I was laying awake trying to convince myself to go to sleep. I was so anxious to meet the little man that was growing inside me and making all the last minute preparations to meet him the next day. I was so ready. I had wanted him for so long. Felt him moving inside me. I knew his patterns and that he calmed when I sang. He knew his daddy's voice already. He was born with a bunch of sweet red hair that poofed up all over his big, baby head. His hands and feet looked like a toddler's already. He was fat and squishy and he made my heart all melty. I held him, he was everything I dreamed of. I don't get to hold him anymore... I was thinking yesterday of all the tributes I give to my living babies on their birthdays. Of the hopes and dreams that I have for them and all the beautiful things that I love about them that are unique to them alone. The intricate pieces that they bring to our family and our home. And that is mostly what I'm sad about tonight. The only things I got to know of my first born baby boy are the things that happened in the first four months of his life. I know that he smiled at everyone, no one was a stranger. That his eyes reminded me of the ocean on a sunny day and they always caught the light just right. That I just melted when he put his little fat arm around my shoulder when I'd carry him around the kitchen. That he was the final piece in the puzzle that made everything right.... Or so I thought. It was so good of Papa to hold me like He did. To continue to hold me like He does. To be ok when I scream at Him and tell Him that I feel like He held out on me. That most days I don't believe that He kept His promises. That I don't care about His plan because I just want to hold my baby again. I want to remember what he smells like and what he feels like. That I want to watch him play with his cousin and not just wonder what that would be like. That I want to watch him start pre-k and ride a bike and play superheroes and see the ocean in his eyes again. How sweet of my Papa to hold me and cry with me. To stroke my face and bottle my tears and not "need me to not be" angry with Him. How sweet of Him to hear my cries and love my brokeness. To continue to patch the wounds that tear open over and over. To walk with me while I ask the darkest questions I think there are to ask and still find no answer... and to hold my hand all the while. I find myself today opening up the box where I keep all this hurt and all these emotions and revisiting once again. Asking myself what has changed in my heart. What have I allowed to be transformed... And all I know is this... That not much has changed as far as what I feel I know about theology and the Bible. That truly the only thing I KNOW for sure is that He loves me. Deeper and wider and truer than I can ever understand. And that is all.... it is. And I don't know if I will ever know anything more than that. It's not any easier to understand or feel than it was when we started this bittersweet journey. But I am more sure than I have ever been that my Papa has never left me alone. So this birthday I will choose to feel it all. I will choose to let it soak and let it touch me again. I will feel the things I am afraid to feel because the hard things are the real things, as my Bethy says. And I will again be transformed. I will grow and change and be different because that is the only thing that can make any of this worth it.
"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever."
- winnie the pooh "