Right after Will was born and rushed to the NICU, the nurses asked Coy who could come be with him. He immediately responded, Mama. It was my mama. She ran, with my daddy following. She knew I couldn’t be there, I was still in surgery. But she was there.
The first time a mama touched him, it was her.
The hand above his head is my mama’s, his Mimsy. There is no other hand I could have wanted there. I know the love the two of the shared is beyond comprehension. I choose to celebrate her today and every day because of how she loves me and everyone else.
Tonight I’m sitting on my couch with a wondering mind…
I always wonder who Will would have been. What his personality would have been like. If he would have acted more like me or Coy. If he would have still let me cuddle him. If he would have been so so funny.
But tonight, I wonder about the other small baby we just said goodbye to. 10 1/2 weeks was the time we had. I love that baby. I loved the idea of a baby in our home and arms.
But God has other plans and His ways are higher. I sure do hope and pray that one day we will be in the hospital holding a baby and bring that baby home.
This evening will be 2 years since we held Will while he slipped into Eternity. Some days it feels like it was just a month or so ago and other days it feels like it’s been forever. I can still feel the weight of him on me. I can still feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and the pain of loss is so real. I still feel the rawness and reality of death. I still allow the devil to creep in during a super weak moment and get me doubting God and the healing He has brought.
And then God reminds me to calm myself and cast ALL my worries on Him. He was there in the darkest moments. He is here now. He reminds me that when my heart of full of fear to call on Him, because He knows my name and He knows what I’m going through.
I was riding down the road the other day thanking God for everything He is doing and the best song I’ve ever heard came on. It was Testimony Time by the Down East Boys. Here’s the chorus of it:
“Come gather round and spread the news
Tell what the Lord has done for you,
and let the whole world know that God is good. Come on it’s testimony time, the devil will be left behind. We’re more than over-comers when it’s time to testify.”
And right then, God spoke to me in a loud voice. He told me that He has this. He’s been writing my story for years. He knows everything. He knew what was coming two years ago. He knew what was coming long before that. And he knows what’s on the horizon. He is writing a redemption story.
And what a story it is. We found out three weeks ago today that Will is going to be a big brother. What a bittersweet thing to say. Sometimes it feels so unreal. I continue to pray that God will allow us to bring this baby home and allow us the blessing of having a child in our home.
What a journey it has been so far. Sometimes I feel alone in a corner, and then I hear of something someone is going through and I’m reminded that everybody is going through something. It’s how you allow God to work in you and through you. Since the moment I found out Will was sick, I have asked God to use us to show someone how good God is. I really hope people know He’s still in the business of miracles and can see that through me and my family.
Last night we went to the Christmas pageant at First Baptist. We sat on the pew with Benji and watching him watch made my eyes fill with tears. Seeing a baby enjoy the magic of Christmas lights is something that I’ll never forget. I was so enthralled watching this baby I love so much that it made me think about what it would have been like watching Will enjoy this show. But I reminded myself I can’t, so I sat and enjoyed Benji.
And as most Christmas pageants go, they had a fun part with lots of laughs and then the gospel was presented. And at the end, you imagine that the choir singing in white robes to Jesus is what our earthly minds picture Heaven to be.
And right there in the pew, the Holy Spirit touched me. I felt it. I sat the hour before enamored with Benji, but wishing I could be watching Will. And the Holy Spirit literally placed His hands on me and told me that I have Heaven to look to with Will. He made me realize that I can enjoy this place He has given me right now, but oh don’t forget what is coming! He showed me a sample of what it will look like. And I cried. I tried my best not to turn crying into sobbing. Through that simple presentation, I got to enjoy both of those baby boys who hold such a huge place in my heart. Here and in Heaven.
Oh what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see. I know I’ll be there with Will singing to the One who created us.
Last year, life wasn’t fun. It was a struggle. Daily. Now, almost 22 months into grief and healing, days are easier. God has truly placed a healing hand on my heart. It feels easier to breathe. And for that, I’m so thankful.
We went to the Carol Lighting last night at the State House. I know that last year, I would have had a panic attack on the way. This year, we were so excited. I don’t know if the addition of Benji has been the biggest blessing in my life or what. My heart feels so less hardened by everything and I truly feel happy again.
That doesn’t mean I don’t think of Will every second of every day. It’s just that I smile about him. I laugh about what he would have been saying. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes it stings at the what might have been. But then I am so thankful for the time we did have with him that I’m overjoyed. Will is celebrating this holiday season and every other second with the King of Kings and I couldn’t be more excited for him if I tried. What a day that will be when I spend every second with Jesus holding my baby!
Happy Thanksgiving. It is this Thursday. And I’m feeling thanksgiving in my heart again this year. Enjoy everyone you have. Enjoy every minute you have with those people. Life can change quickly.
Psalm 100:4-5 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For theLordis good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Twenty months ago about this time, we walked into a lifeless house. Neither me nor Coy said a word. There were no words. Tears filled the backs of my eyes, but none could come down my face. I was numb. Coy’s eyes looked dead. We were new parents, sleep deprived, and exhausted. The only difference was our baby didn’t get to come home. He had just passed away and we had to leave his body all alone at the morgue. That is a stinging pain I will never forget. I still feel the lump in the back of my throat. Twenty short months ago, it felt like death was going to swallow us whole. That’s what the devil will do. He came to steal, kill, and destroy.
But God sent His Son to redeem all evil and save the world. And because of that, we can go on. Fast forward to tonight, we heard Will’s song on the radio, smiled at each other, winked at Will sitting on the moon, and held hands and cried. It was a thankful cry. Thankful for today. Thankful for healing. Thankful for that baby boy who made us a Mama and Daddy.
All over social media, people talk about October being infant loss awareness month. That is a daily struggle in our home. It isn’t just a month. It is life. Don’t forget the parents who don’t have those babies in their homes. Looking in through our windows tonight, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell we are grieving. But, joy mixes in well with grief and I hope you can see that in our eyes too.
We have a baby in Heaven. We celebrate and grieve at the same time. Thank you Lord!
Last Monday, Will would have been 18 months old. A year and a half. It feels like it’s been a lifetime without him already. Time creeps by day by day and when you look up, we have been living. Life continues to go on. I’m not sure how. My brain still doesn’t understand everything. My heart certainly is still broken. But, my goodness, the grace of God continues to push us on.
Before Will was even born, there was no way I could have ever thought that I would be able to live if something happened to him. In losing Will, I have found out that something happened to me. I can’t do anything to change what God has planned for us. I’m not in control. But, I can get through anything, because He is gonna carry me.
Life is different now. We can smile about Will. We all talk about how he would have loved everyone and everyone would have loved him. I laugh about him and I cry about him. Even though he doesn’t live with us on this earth doesn’t mean he isn’t thought about and placed into what would have been.
On Saturday mornings Daddy and I like to laugh about how he would have been up at the crack of dawn ready to ride and get a biscuit. Every time I see Pippy walk down the stairs at the office, I wonder if Will would have been stomping down the stairs with him and greeting the clients. Mimsy likes to tell me that he would have just lived with her because he would have loved her the most. Whenever I see BB with Benji, I see you two playing and I know you would have been smitten with her. Whenever I see how your Lili passes Benji off with a look like she won’t get him back, I know that’s how I would have passed you off. And your Uncle Chant would taught you the smartest things to say and I probably would have already washed your mouth out with soap.
And whenever Benji smiles, I know it’s because you taught us how to love even more and we are loving him even more because of you. I know you two would have been beat friends.
Will, basically our world still revolves around you. I wish that you were. But because you’re not, I have learned to love with all that I have in me. I have learned that life will go on when I think it can’t. I’ve learned that a little boy can leave the biggest hole in my world. And I’ve learned that I love you more than I could ever imagine. My Will, I miss you with every breath I take and I can’t wait to hold and kiss you again forever.