I have been in my own mind and heart a lot today. I don't dig too deep in those places as a general rule in the past five years. Its too hard to be a good momma to my babies that are still here with me when I'm aching so deeply for that which is lost. I have been asking God a lot of questions about the event that took place five years ago. The last day I spent with my second child. With my red-headed, first baby boy. The one who had my heart in such a special way. I have just begun to be brave enough to ask God to remind me of things that I have chosen to tuck away for so long. The pain is almost tangible. I can actually feel it, deep in my chest. It aches so deeply. SO I wanted to share some things. To allow my friends and family a glimpse into my heart and the healing process so far. That special day we spent together five years ago today began very hectically. We were rushing around trying to get to the parade... (which we only attend because we have children. It's not that great:) Rocky and I were somewhat frustrated with each other which was not helped by the fact that we had a two year old and a baby boy that needed very much extra care. We got to where the rest of my family had set up chairs and we sat and watched the VERY long parade.... My dad was there for the first time in years because he had started a new job. These are everyday graces... precious things to look back on and thank Jesus for all the special memories we have of that day. He was held by everyone in our group. Such a gift. I held him in the pool that afternoon and watched his tight, always tensed up muscles relax as they did only on very rare occasions. He calmed and rested in the water. Then he laid in his special chair by the pool. It was a precious day full of love and surrounded by friends and family. That night we went to the fire works at UCO. I've had so many memories today of sitting on the ground with Courtlynn and looking up and seeing Rocky holding Jace in his arms. Courtlynn in awe of the colors in the sky and eating her weight in tiny chocolate donuts:) it was a precious night. Then we stood around forever afterwards talking with friends and watching our kids play.... It was almost as if I knew that I wanted this day to last as long as it could. We went home and put his jammies on and got Courty to bed. I fed him his formula mixed with orange flavored powder to stimulate his sucking reflex... And we climbed into bed. I laid his sweet, chubby body next to mine and cradled him close to me. His brain damage had caused vision and hearing loss so he felt the most secure when I held him. So i did. All. The. Time. And I wouldn't change any part of that. We went to sleep peacefully. The sun went down on one life and rose on another entirely. I could NEVER begin to explain what it feels like to wake up to what I woke up to that morning. To hope and believe so so hard for something and see all of your dreams and hopes fall apart in minutes before your eyes. To have thoughts run through your head about what it will be like to bury your own child. To plan him a funeral. To get his little body dressed in his pajamas for the last tim to lay that little body to rest until Jesus comes home. To kiss his little cheeks and the place where his hands meet his wrists for the last time. To close the casket and know that with that act, I admit it is over. That my heart is broken, never to be whole again. That I will never be fixed. Never done. Never over this. This is real, friends. This is hard. Its heavy and it hurts. And its real. In this world we WILL have trouble. My husband and family and I have had our share. But that is not all. The rest of the verse is this... "BUT, take heart! For I have OVERCOME the world." My heart is sore today. It aches again in that deep, longing way. Thank you to all of you who have allowed God to use you to reach out and be Jesus to us. It is my hope and prayer that we as the body of Christ would become better and better at binding up the broken. At joining in their suffering. At grieving with those who grieve. Even when its uncomfortable, unnatural, unnerving. That we would allow the Holy Spirit to use us to be His arms as we embrace them. To be His lips as we kiss their cheeks. To be His hands as we prepare food and tend to basic needs for those who are too devastated to do it for themselves. Thank you for letting me share.