Tuesday, September 6, 2016

8 Years

Dear Joshua and Caleb,
Another year has past.  Another year with you there and me here.  It's been 8 years now.  8 years.  8 years of growing and changing in our family.  All that change and all that growth and the two holes you left behind are still there.  Empty.  Missing.  Nothing and no one will ever fill your spots.  I struggle with whether we should try to have another baby or not.  I don't feel done.  I don't feel complete.  Is that feeling because you're missing from our family or because there are supposed to be more babies in our family?  I have no idea.  I guess it wouldn't be a struggle if I knew the answer.

Up until tonight your brothers never understood who you were.  They're older now though and the questions came more tonight than they ever have before.  They wanted to know who you were.  We explained that before Case was born you boys were.  They didn't immediately understand that this meant they were your brothers.  I'm not sure they understand it now either but it was funny when they asked if either one of you was a girl... even they were shocked by the number of boys we've had.  They will understand it all someday though and I'm guessing they will look back at our time visiting you with pure joy.  We all love it there.  Your brothers love to play with your toys and bring you new ones.  They like to walk around and look at all the headstones.  There's even a geocache there that we found tonight.  Who knew the cemetery could be so much fun.  Wayne and I have affectionately named this event Subway at the Cemetery.  I hope we have more Subway at the Cemetery events soon because there is just so much peace there with you. And I love that your brothers love being there with you and they aren't growing up afraid of cemeteries.
Before we got you all decked out for fall

prayers before Subway at the Cemetery

Just one of my many reasons to smile tonight

No words.  

Enjoying your cookie cake

Baby brother loved eating cake with you

A glimpse into how peaceful this place really is.

You would have started 2nd grade this year.  I still would have shot for matching first day of school outfits.  I'm guessing you would have fought back.  I feel pretty strongly about it though, so you should know that I would have won.  I wonder what kind of students you would be. I wonder what kinds of things you'd be into.  For some reason I picture you being a lot like Case.  I don't know why.  And you know what?  It doesn't matter.  I can wonder all I want but there's no answer.  There was never meant to be an answer.  I'm not sure what to do with that but my faith in God and His plan is strong, especially when it comes to you boys.  He has blessed me with a peace and acceptance of this reality that is beyond anything I can understand.

While I have no idea who you would be today if you were sleeping in the room next to me tonight, I DO know why you were here and why your time was so short.  I do know why God allowed us to experience that all consuming grief 8 years ago.  I know because I see His reasons all the time.  I see His reasons when I can hug another momma experiencing this pain with total understanding.  I see His reasons every month when other mommas and daddies walk into our support group meeting.  And I see His reasons when those same mommas and daddies stop coming to our meetings because they've moved through their grief and gotten to the other side.  I see His reasons when I look into the faces of your brothers.  I see His reasons when I look into your daddy's eyes and still feel completely in love with him.  I'm a different momma and wife because of you.  You had to come and go just as you did so that I could be who I am today.  I had to feel the pain and hear the deafening silence when you were born and feel how cold your tiny bodies were.  Even today, 8 years later, it is still so easy to go back to that day.  I can smell the room and describe the love that surrounded us that day.  I can explain every single detail of the ultrasound room when I learned what God had in store for us.  Time doesn't change how I can back to that day in an instant.  If I smell the soap, or hear someone say your names, or see twin boys.  I'm right back there in that moment.  Time doesn't change that.  And time will never fill the holes you left behind.  Time has made it less painful though.  I'm happy and grateful even with those holes.

I'm grateful for every second I got to be your momma.  Instead of sitting here wishing I could have tucked you in tonight, I just wish I could get a glimpse of you right now in Heaven.  I wish I could see your sweet faces smiling in complete perfection.  Until that day comes, I hope you know how much I love you.  I hope you know how grateful I am for how you've changed me.  I hope and pray that God will give me the strength and courage to let your precious lives shine through into the world.

I love you my sweet forever babies.  Whether 8 or 80 more years go by, you will never be forgotten.  You are forever in your momma's heart.