I think I’ve shed as many tears this week as the week I lost you. I can’t believe it’s already been three months. To be honest, it feels like it was only just yesterday. I just can’t help but think of you always. There’s not a moment that goes by that I don’t think of you and how much I love and miss you. I often pray that you would know that.
Watching this date creep closer and closer has made me sick to my stomach. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Things are supposed to be so different right now. This month was supposed to be exciting as we prepared for your big arrival. Instead, I have watched my friends have (or get ready to have) their babies this summer. Meanwhile, my heart has ached with each passing day since you went to be with Jesus. Today is the day that your daddy and I marked on our calendars in October as soon as we found out that God was blessing us with you. Whether today would have been your birthday, I don’t know. I can only imagine you’d be like your planner of a momma and want to arrive right on time. Instead, we met you three months ago under circumstances that I never would have imagined.
While your daddy got to see you alive when you were first born, I only got to experience your life through dopplers, ultrasound machines, and late night wiggles.
Until 26 weeks, I went into the doctor’s office just to hear your heartbeat and look at you through a screen. The doctors would all say how strong your heartbeat was and how you looked so healthy. They’d joke how much of a handful you’d be with how much you wiggled. I was already so proud of you. I never thought I’d enjoy being a ‘boy mom’ as much as I did. You had my heart wrapped around your little finger since day 1.
I go by your grave often – typically a few times a week. Sometimes I stand there and talk to you like you can hear me. Other times I stand there and can’t get words to come out of my mouth. Sometimes I just sit there and pray. When they finally installed your marker, I felt like it really sank in that you’re gone. There’s something about seeing your name in stone that made everything feel that much more real. That it’s not all just a bad dream that I can’t seem to wake up from. You’re not here, and you won’t be.
“… I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” – 2 Samuel 12:23
I often wonder what you’re like. You looked so much like your daddy when you were born. (Although I’m told you have my nose!) But, I often wonder what your personality would have been like. By all your wiggling in my belly, I have a feeling that you would have been wide open just like your daddy. I imagine that you would have been a little firecracker – strong, opinionated, and ready to take on whatever this world threw at you. I also often wonder what you’re up to up there. Not because I doubt that you’re more than okay, but rather that I just wonder what heaven is like. Are you sitting around with the other kids listening to stories of the flood and the parting of the Red Sea from Noah and Moses? Are you running around and playing with the other kids who came Home too soon?
People may not know this, but I love to talk about you.
While it may make me cry, I actually do love to talk about you. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid that people will forget about you. But even more so I think it’s just like any other momma talking about their baby. I love talking about how handsome you are, the things you might have loved, and what I wish I could’ve gotten to do with you. I love getting to have raw conversations with others about how your brief 38 minutes of life has inspired, changed, and is continuing to change the lives of so many people. They tell me how yellow butterflies remind them of you and our story. We talk about how they symbolize and remind me daily of the hope that I have in Jesus. That everything will be okay – really more than okay because of the grace we have through Jesus’s death on the cross. I thank God every day for the good news of the gospel. Not only will it mean I get to spend eternity in heaven with my heavenly Father, but it means that I will get to see you again one day.x
While I wish it didn’t have to happen the way that it did,
God answered my prayer that I made in January. I prayed that in 2019 I would focus on deepening my walk with Jesus. Needless to say, I feel like a completely different person than I was before March 28th, 2019. There has been a lot of pain and a lot of struggle, and there is still a lot of pain and struggle that I know will probably be around for a while. However, I do feel drawn closer to Jesus than ever before. My sweet Layne, what your life and death have given me is the ability to trust God in a way that I never could have experienced otherwise. I have a completely new perspective of life spent on this earth and what truly matters. I’ve also found that there is an indescribable peace that comes from truly, completely, and wholeheartedly handing over each day to Jesus and praying that he’d give me enough strength to survive the next.
The trust I have in God because of you has changed my life.
While the pain of your absence hasn’t gotten any easier, I can rejoice in the fact that you are in heaven with Jesus waiting for me. I still get frustrated and have so many questions that I know I probably won’t know the answers to until I see Him face to face. I’ve cried so many selfish tears as I’ve thought about how much I wish you were here. But why should I want you here in this broken world when you get to be in paradise with Jesus? You got to skip the hard part. Although your life was so short, frankly, you’re doing so much better than the rest of us.
Layne, you are one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I never knew how much I could love another person before I held you in my arms. I also had no idea how much I could miss and long for another person until you passed away. Being your momma has changed my life in more ways than I could ever express. I thank God every day that He chose me of all people to carry you, love you, and deliver you into this world – although your time here was short. For the rest of the days in my life, you will never be forgotten.
Happy due date, sweet boy. Momma loves and misses you big.
If you’re someone who’s walked a similar road and you’re looking for hope and comfort, I wish I could give you a hug. I’d invite you into my living room and share a cup of coffee with you. Over that cup of coffee, I’d laugh with you at my crazy dogs and cry raw tears with you for your pain. But, most importantly, I’d tell you how much Jesus loves you. How this isn’t it for you. This isn’t it for me. God is going to use this for His glory.