What I miss

I miss Will. That’s the Gods honest truth. But that statement goes so much deeper than that. Those words don’t do my heart justice. But that’s the fact. I miss Will. I have a piece of me that I will never hold on this earth again. My heart is shattered into bits and pieces all over the floor and I will never be the same. And I miss my sweet Will.

There are so many other things I miss. Things I knew. And things I had imagined. People and events. Everyone misses Will.

The cashier at Target misses Will, and she doesn’t even know it. I know he would have been my shopping buddy. He would have rode shotgun in that red plastic buggy and been friends with everyone we passed. But his favorite person would have been the cashier. Because Will would have been their best customer. He would have had a smile every time and probably a deep belly laugh. I imagine his voice as deep and sweet all in one.

The clients who pass in and out of our office everyday miss Will. Most of them knew of Will and some still ask about him. They listen to our story and we are connected. They don’t even know what they are missing. He would have been the best tax and payroll boy ever.

The buttons on the keyboards and calculators don’t even know what they’re missing. I know he would have been like me and loved a button. He would have played those so hard.

Those are such simple things we as a family are missing.

I miss the excitement in your daddy’s eyes, Will. I miss what should have been. I miss the nights I was going to cook dinner and listen to you and daddy. I miss the Saturday mornings you two were going to go get breakfast. I miss everything about you and your daddy. He loves you with every fiber of his being.

I miss the Friday afternoons you were going to spend with your Pippy. The way he would have been your favorite person. I miss the fact that you would have been in his office all day or in his lap in the conference room. I miss the way he was going to hold you through the church service.

I miss that you never got to spend the night with your Mimsy. She was going to spoil you rotten. You are the apple of her eye. You and Mimsy probably would have never worked. You would have been going to eat and shop everyday and you would have preferred her to anyone. I miss the way I was going to watch her love you.

I miss the way your Aunt Abby would have stolen your heart. I don’t know if there is anyone I would rather you be with. She would have taught you to be so funny and bad. I miss that I never got to see you two and her taking you places.

I miss the fact that you never got to spend the night at Aunt Alli’s and Uncle Chance’s. I know they would have told you all about Baby B and I know you would have been ready for that. I miss that you don’t get to laugh with them. I miss that you don’t get to laugh at them.

Mostly, your mama misses you. I miss the way you felt. I miss your sweet hand gripping my finger that time. I miss the tiny nose of yours on my lips. I miss your cheeks on mine. I miss the kisses. I miss it all. I miss the weight of you in my arms. I miss YOU. And I don’t know that I’ll ever be the same.

11

11 months.

That’s a long time. And a really short time for a grieving mama and daddy. Everyday that passes seems to only hurt more. We always talk about what Will would act like, who he would look like, and who would he like more?

I know he would have just loved everyone he came into contact with. It’s how we are.

Most of the time lately, healing has begun. God is using this in a mighty way. He is using us. But then sometimes, fear of forgetting Will creeps in. And the devils steals all the joy that healing has brought. Most nights since Will died, I have nightmares. They’re terrible and horrible and I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. And lately, the nightmares have gotten worse. I wake up in sweats thinking the past 11 months have been a nightmare. And it gets worse, because I start to fear Will was never here. So it’s like I’ve been in a nightmarish coma for the past almost 2 years and he never even was a part of us.

And then, I look on my nightstand and see him. I see the three of us and all is right (not by a long shot). I’m reminded that he was here, he did live, I did hold him, kiss him, and love him. And we did get to hold him as he went to Heaven.

I’ve always read that time is tough for a mama. Those mamas have no idea how tough time really is for a mama who can’t hold her baby anymore. Time keeps moving and life keeps going on. I have to remind myself of that more than I can count.

Reality

For the last few days, life has been shifting back to normal after the holiday season. Everyone is back at work, Abby will go back to school next week, and the world keeps on turning. I’ve been sad to see this time come to an end. The past few weeks were the hardest Christmas season I’ve ever experienced, but it was also good. We had time with family, time with each other, and time laying in the bed sick as dogs. So I’ve been singing (mostly in my head) that late 80’s song, “Back to life, back to reality…”

And then reality slapped me in the face Thursday night while I was shopping. Not just one time, but twice! I went to Michael’s to look for some pretty flowers to make a new arrangement for Will’s grave for his 11 month birthday. I found the flowers and couldn’t find the cone that you need to put in the urn, so I asked a worker. She showed me and walked away. And it hit me, THIS is REALITY. Life will never be the same again. So I stood in the aisle and wept. Loudly. I will always be making flowers or something for Will’s grave. And I dried my tears the best I could and went to pay.

So I decided to walk next door to Marshall’s and see what they had for me to buy to try to fill the void. Which, by the way, hasn’t worked yet. So I walked the store and found a few things. Got in line to pay and stood behind a family. This little girl, probably 2, kept smiling at me. So I finally smiled. They went to check out, I went to the next available and we ending up leaving around the same time. They were walking out the door and she turned around and waved at me, smiled again, and said bye bye. I wept again between the sets of automatic doors in the foyer of Marshall’s. Reality slapped me and said that I’ll never see Will wave or tell people bye bye or smile at a stranger. It takes my breath away the grief gets so bad sometimes.

And to top everything off, I didn’t sleep at all Thursday night. And it was rainy and gloomy all day Friday. Well, until God needed to show off. After work we went shopping and the sky opened up when we were leaving a store. Like something you can’t imagine. I know that was a promise from God letting me know in the storms, He is there and He will use this pain for good. He will use me. He has used Will. And so, reality hit once again. Will would have been 11 months old today, January 5. We’ve been living without him for almost a year. It’s surreal. It feels like time has stood still as it also flew by.

My sweet Will sits on the other side of the dark and gloomy sky in the beautiful fluffy clouds waiting on us in Heaven. That’s the reality that gets me through.

2018

There are 3 days left in the year. This year was full of everything. The beginning of the year was full of expectations of our new family. This year has been so different than we ever thought. From the excitement of expecting Will in January to the unexpected sorrow of losing Will shortly after he was born, and to learning how to heal, this has been a whirlwind year to say the least.

I have never been one to have a word of the year, but as 2018 comes to a close, I think that it deserves one. I would say more than anything, RELY has been our theme. Relying on God to carry us through the darkest times we could ever imagine. Relying on our family to support us and wrap their arms around us. Relying on complete strangers that God puts in our path to hear our testimony and how faithful God is when we rely on Him.

Psalm 73:23-25 says it more perfectly than I ever could. “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”

I began this year fully expectant of great things. And I am ending this year expectant of great things. I have no clue what these things are. I hope that the next year holds another baby for us. I hope the next year holds so many things our family is praying for. I hope that God opens doors for us like never before. I am so expectant of good and great things. I know He is able. We worshipped Him in the worst times and will continue to worship Him in the healing times.

Thank God for the expectation of a new year and new things.

A Big Puzzle

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I’ve written a post. The past two weeks have been so hard. Good, but hard. There have been okay days, good days, and absolutely horrible days. I try every day to remind myself that I’m going to be okay. And everyone else around me will be okay. But most days I wonder if I really am. It feels like life is moving so fast and I can’t keep up. It feels mostly like I’m watching everyone from behind a two way mirror.

It feels like Will was born last week and I’m trying to pick up the pieces of my heart. But instead of my heart laying outside of my chest in a few broken pieces, it is literally shattered into a million puzzle pieces. And out of the million pieces it was broken into, only 999.999 exist and it will be incomplete for the rest of my life.

When I was little, I hated puzzles. I still do. Even more so now. Instead of it coming out of a box and laying it on a table, it’s my actual existence.

Thank God that I don’t have to put this puzzle together, though. He is doing that for me. And for our family. I’ll never be able to fix it all. But through Jesus, that puzzle is just a beautiful picture.

This morning was the Christmas cantata at church. My favorite song was “Born to Save.” The song was about Jesus coming to be born, to die, and to save. He came so that death would never win. And because of that baby that came so many years ago, death isn’t the end. Will only lived for a short time with us. But the time on the earth without him will feel so long, but when we are reunited with him, time won’t matter anymore.

I am so thankful this year for Christmas. I might be missing that time with Will and experiencing Christmas through his eyes, but I’m really celebrating this year. For the true and real reasons. That tiny baby came to save the world. And because of Christmas, Will won.

An Angel in Target

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.

I’ll be Home for Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas movies growing up was I’ll Be Home for Christmas with Jonathan Taylor Thomas. That scene where he waits outside the window watching his family and you can actually see the love has always made me choke up. The music. The lighting. Just everything. I always dreamt of when my son would come home for Christmas. Even as a teenager, I thought about that day years down the road and just knew I would be so excited to see him.

And then last year we were planning for this year with Will. And in my mind, I went 30 years down the road to him coming to our house with his family.

And here we sit tonight, riding down the road and I’ll be Home for Christmas comes on. The lump in my throat grows to those puddles of tears streaming down my face and Coy grabbing my hand again and letting me have my pity party. Then halfway through the song, God placed His hand on my heart, almost literally, and just gave me a peace.

I never get to see him grow, fall in love, marry, and everything in between. But, I’m here with my family and we are celebrating the Christmas season. We celebrated Thanksgiving with thankful and joyful hearts, but with an empty seat at the table. And we will continue to celebrate. That seat will always be there. And I’ll always wonder what would have been. But I don’t have to wonder where he is.

Will isn’t here for Christmas. He never will be. He is HOME for Christmas. Every single Christmas, my baby is home. I get to live this earthly life without him now, but I know that he is celebrating Christmas everyday and eventually we will celebrate together.

I truly hope if you are sitting with an empty seat, you have the joy of Christmas in your heart. It doesn’t mean you won’t have those hard moments, but ask God to give you the peace. He will continue to guide you through the unknown and give grace when you need it most. My prayer is that he covers me and my family in it this season, I know we will need it. Every single day I pray that He covers us in grace like He did in the hospital that day when we gave Will back to Him.

Merry Christmas season!