18 Months

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.

All my love,

Mama

Seasons

It’s spring time and the weather is starting to warm up. I think it is good for the soul. The azaleas are in bloom. The pollen is almost gone, I pray. The sun feels good. And life is starting to feel okay again.

I feel like most days I can breathe. Sometimes it still hurts to take a breath, then God gives me the nudge to take in a big ole deep breath and it feels good. Sometimes I feel guilty thinking it feels good to be alive. I remind myself that life is meant to be lived while we are on this earth. God made this place for me and you. So each day I am given a chance to wake up, I will keep reminding myself of that.

Just as we are in a different season of the year, God has placed us in a different season of life. We are healing. We are looking forward to the future. We are hopeful of another child. We are anxiously awaiting our nephew, who will be born any day now. We are full of anticipation. I know that there are so many good days ahead.

Thank God the season of deep mourning and depression feels like it is ending. Laughing feels good again. And that might be one of my favorite things. To laugh. A deep belly laugh. I know Will is laughing all the day long. So because God has given me joy, I will laugh and sing His praises. I know that my sweet Will would have made me laugh non stop.

It’s Been a While

It’s been over a month since I’ve put some words down on here. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. Journaling sometimes is my choice. But that can’t be on here, those thoughts would probably get me on a psych ward. Just kidding… a little.

I’ve been missing Will something fierce lately. It seems that time has been moving at warp speed and I don’t want to forget what he felt like. I don’t want to forget his beautiful face. Or the way I felt when he was in my arms. Thank God for pictures.

But, life is moving along. We are healing. We are making it. I am making it. I didn’t know if I would. If I had to do it alone, I’d be a goner. But God is so good. In the midst of everything, He is everything. I am reminded of this daily.

For so long, I wondered what I did to deserve this. Was is something I said? Something I did so wrong? Maybe something Coy did. Or a combination of our sins?

But God doesn’t punish us like that. Through all of this, I think God is using me. Showing me that He is enough. That I can’t do it alone. That He really does give and take away on this earth. But this isn’t home, this place isn’t final. He does allow us to suffer because that makes us draw closer to Him. We can’t do it alone.

Sometimes it feels like all we can do is dig through the trenches of today to finally close our eyes and hope that tomorrow will be better. I know tomorrow will be better than today. God gives us a new morning everyday we wake up. Each day I get is a reason to be thankful. And each day we get is another day closer to Heaven.

Restless Nights

Sleep used to be my BFF. We were so close. I would be able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. And I could have probably slept through an earthquake. Not anymore.

Ever since Will was born, around 2:30 or 3:00 every morning is my new time to battle with the devil. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He steals from me every night. No medicine can keep me asleep. It’s a spiritual battle.

I wake up and it’s a repeat of the night before. I have had a nightmare. They are usually about Will. Then I am woken up because I’m upset. Most of the time it wakes Coy up. He usually pays me like a child. Sometimes that can calm me down. And most often, like right now, my mind is racing. I go through every moment leading up to Will’s birth and every moment after wondering what happened. And I get myself more upset.

I wish it was Will’s cry keeping me up at night. I wish he was calling out for us in the middle of the night because he was hungry or just because he missed me. I would give everything to hold him again for 5 more minutes. There wasn’t enough time for me and him. I wanted the rest of my life.

And then I pray. I ask God to get the devil out. I thank Him for the time we DID have with Will. I thank Him for eternity. I thank Him for salvation. I thank Him for Heaven. I thank Him for Will. I ask him to continue to heal us. Not just me and Coy, but everyone. And He calms my heart and gives my soul rest.

My soul has rest. My mind not so much. So sleep, I’m waiting on us to get back together, because I miss you.

Heaven

It’s been a whole year since Will went to Heaven. I didn’t know if we would make it though. I didn’t know if we would be okay. I didn’t know if our hearts would survive. But, we are making it. It’s a minute by minute kind of thing. Some minutes are good. Some minutes are bad.

Life is different now. God continues to mend our broken hearts. Deep in my soul, I have so much peace about Will. I know that he is perfect and whole and alive and well! But it’s me that I’m struggling with. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that he isn’t with us. It still doesn’t make sense.

All I know is that death is not final. Death is not the end. It is the beginning of forever. We just have to keep living here so we can live forever with him. And I think that is the hardest part of it all.

Thank you Jesus for victory over the grave so we can live!

Experiencing God

This morning our pastor started a sermon series about experiencing God. And it blew me away. Coy and I barely talked on the way to lunch because it really hit home. After lunch we took the sanctuary flowers we placed today in Will’s memory to his grave with everyone. And then I lost it on the way home. I lost it in a different way this time.

Had we not been through everything this past year, I truly don’t think I would be such a changed Christian. This past year has been so so hard but so so good. My walk with the Lord has never been like this. I can say that I have experienced God in so many ways.

The first was in the NICU. I know the Holy Spirit filled that room and covered us in the time we were there. I know that God was in the room the moment Will was in my arms and taking his last breath. And I know that God held me when Will was not with us anymore. He surrounded our family and held us tight.

The rest of the week, the Holy Spirit was with us carrying us around to the funeral home, to get things done, and during the visitation and funeral.

I know the true and living God has been in our home and in our cars with us on days we didn’t think we could go on. Sometimes just taking the next step or even the next breath hurts. But I know I can do it because it’s His purpose.

I, we, our whole family has experienced God. We experienced a miracle. He used our Will to show us that he is still on the throne. Will is alive forever more because of God’s power and might. He used our family to show people watching in the hospital, clients, friends, and even strangers that when we are walking through some really rough roads, God will guide you. He will make a way. He always does.

February 1

So today is February 1 and I have been a mess of emotions. Most know that Will’s birthday is coming. Many don’t know that February 1, 2017 was the day of a d and c and a loss of a day. Skip forward a few months, and we would find out we were expecting again. Hope had been restored.

So February 1, 2018, I was FULL of hope. And so excited. And so expectant. Here’s a picture of exactly a year ago today.

I vividly remember taking this picture. I had just gotten home from work and was doing things in Will’s nursery. We were going to dinner shortly and I didn’t want to sit down because I didn’t know if I would be able to get back up.

We were going to IHOP to remember our baby. After my surgery the year before, I was starving. So we went to IHOP and it was so good. So we decided we would do that every year in memory of that sweet baby.

And we went last year with so much expectation of the goodness of God’s blessings. And we thanked Him for that sweet baby because if we had not lost that baby, we wouldn’t have our sweet Will on the way.

And here we are today. Our lives have been flip turned upside down. So we sat in IHOP and ate our pancakes and celebrated the life of our two February babies in Heaven. Thank you Jesus for Heaven. I hope Will is being a sweet boy to his brother or sister. I hope he told them all about us. And that when we get there, we’re not letting go.

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.