Last Friday night we went to Target to get a few things. One of the more important was a box of Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes. They had the white ones at this Target, so I went crazy and picked up a few boxes. Our Target never has the white ones in stock. So after more shopping, I got in line and Coy went to get the truck.
As I was unloading the buggy, an older woman behind me in line smiled and then started talking about the cakes. She loved them. She loved all Little Debbie’s. She has served those Christmas Tree Cakes as dessert before at a party she loves them so much. So then we started talking about the most important thing I found in Target. A tiny little Christmas tree. I have known all year that when December came I wanted to put a tree on Will’s grave.
So, the woman asked what I was going to do with that tiny little tree. She talked about how simple it was. And how pretty the limbs were. And then she asked. “What are you going to do with that one little tree?” I mustered up enough strength and with that tearful glisten in my eye, I responded, “it’s going on my sons grave.” And then I lost it at register 6.
But, she didn’t let that end our conversation. She asked how old my son would be. So I was able to tell her that he would have been 10 months old next week. She then asked what happened. I was able to stand there at register 6 and give our testimony. And we continued to talk while she checked out. It was surreal.
So I told her Merry Christmas and she said that she prayed the new year would bring joy and hope of another baby; which is what we have been praying for. So I high tailed it to the truck because I knew Coy would be close to the door. I was nearly sobbing because of the sweet encounter. And when I got there, he rolled down the window asking if I was okay. So I said yes, look for the old woman in the red sweater. And she never came out. We sat there at the front door for forever and she never left.
I know she was an angel. I have always known they exist. I never thought I would be able to see one on earth. But in the beginning of the Christmas season, I know God knew I needed that reminder. Sometimes it’s a small star I see in the sky and it is so bright that I know it’s God giving me a wink. Sometimes it’s in the midst of a heavy moment filled with grief that I get a little bit of relief. But last Friday, at register 6, I truly believe an angel came down from heaven to give me some peace.
So today, December 5, Will would have been 10 months old. I’ve tried all day to think about what he would have been doing if he was still alive. Who would he look like? What size would he be? Just about every what if has crossed my mind today. I know he would have loved the Christmas lights this year. And I know he would have been playing around our tree. So we decided on his 10 month birthday to take him his tree.
We placed it on his headstone and wept. It was a sorrowful time but before we left, we thanked God again for his life. Those 52 hours were the best times in the worst circumstances.
Every time we visit his grave, it’s a reminder of time continuing on. More grass continues to cover the ground over him each time we go. The weather continues to change. We have watched the leaves fall off the tree right beside him. And yet, it feels like life is standing still. Time and life continue to go on and I still can’t figure out how to keep up. Maybe I don’t have to keep up, just keep pushing through. That’s all we can really do.