Happy 1st Birthday Baby Boy

As many of you know, this last Saturday, July 30th, was our sweet angel Everett’s 1st birthday in Heaven. As we spent our day as a family focusing on the many lessons his short life taught us we were reminded to take every moment we are given and cherish it as it’s our last.

It is hard to put into words what it feels like to celebrate a precious life taken from your family too soon and although we chose to focus on celebrating his life and not mourning his death it was still one of the hardest days of my life. A day, that I’m sure as the years go on without him will continue to bring just as much joy as it does pain.

Despite it all, I can say this, we felt him. We felt him in every moment we spent as a family on Saturday soaking up the time we have together in his memory. We felt him there with us honoring his first birthday as we made him a cake and his brother’s picked at it just like he would’ve for his smash cake session if he would’ve been born alive and well into our arms. We felt his light and laughter there with us as we sang him Happy Birthday and sent up his 1st birthday messages on a balloon to him in Heaven; sending all our love and kisses along with it. We felt him as we tucked his brothers into bed that night answering seemingly endless questions about their brother that continue to bring tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.

No matter where we are, no matter what we do, we will always feel his presence, he will always be a part of our family, he will always be celebrated. Everett may be our missing piece, but his memory will never be missing from our lives. Our children will grow up knowing and loving their brother awaiting them in Heaven; celebrating his birthday and honoring his short life here with us.

Happy 1st Birthday: Mommy loves you baby boy.

Always & forever.

From now until eternity.

 

The worst day of my life.

Lucas1yr-52.jpgA year ago today we found out we had lost you. It was, and still is the worst day of my life. A day I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. A day I wish no other parent would ever have to experience. A day that existed because of the evil in this world; an evil that even in it’s most powerful moments will never outshine the light your short life brought into our lives.
 
Three days later, on your birthday, after endless tears and sorrowful goodbyes we kissed your sweet lips for the first & last time. In this moment, we found out the true depth of a parents love; a love that reaches far beyond our comprehension and binds your soul to ours, a love that will forever remain with us; making us ache for you by our side until we are reunited again, a love that is more powerful than anything ever created on this Earth.
 
This weekend we will spend in honor of you baby boy. No longer mourning, but rather celebrating the light and love you brought, and continue to bring into our lives. With your brothers by our sides & your baby sister in my womb we will celebrate everything that you are and everything that you forever continue to be ❤
 
Mommy loves you baby boy.
 
Always & forever.
 
From now until eternity.
Everett’s Mommy

I will always reach for you.

Some mornings I wake up and I reach for you; even after almost a year without you, even after another life is growing inside my womb, even though your sweet cries never got a chance to wake me from my sleep. My maternal instinct kicks in and reminds me that you are missing from our lives and I wake, reaching for you.

If only my arms could reach far enough, pull you down from the heavens, whole and healthy and bring you back into our lives. We would live our lives here on Earth as we’d dreamed; with three ornery boys and one little princess by our side, whole, happy, no longer reaching for a piece of our family just out of our grasp.

Until our hands meet and you are back in my arms again I will always reach for you baby boy. 
Everett’s Mommy

Father’s Day with 3

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I imagined this day a lot differently. With a house filled full of knee high little boys running around chasing each other and a little one crawling behind. With giggles and laughter and yes, a few tears because boys will be boys & your brothers always play too rough. Your first Father’s Day with us would’ve been filled with hand print artwork for Daddy and lots of new foods for you to try.

I imagined taking our yearly Father’s Day pictures with you tucked tight in Daddy’s arms staring at him wide eyed. The tiny little details I would’ve captured and cherished forever of the bond you two had quickly developed; your tiny hand holding his, your sweet smile, and the way your eyes would light up around him. (I like to think my boys are Mama’s boys, but when push comes to shove they choose Daddy everytime!) But instead of these moments with you; we held our Everett Bear in your place and placed angel wings instead of hand prints on Daddy’s yearly Father’s Day art.

More often than not I forget to recognize the pain your Daddy went through when we lost you & the strength and courage it took (and continues to take) to push back his own anguish & carry his family through the storm. Your Daddy’s selflessness is remarkable; the love he has for you and your brothers is never ending. I see the same light in his eyes when he holds our Everett Bear as I do when he holds your brothers, the same unceasing love, but their is indescribable pain there as well, a pain that will follow us through our life here without you until we are reunited again. A pain none of us could bear without your Daddy by our sides, holding us together through it all.

There are no words for the gratefulness I have for having your Daddy in my life to pull me through the darkness and push me into the sunlight day after day. For loving a man who continues to love me even after seeing me hit rock bottom in my grief time and time again; for never giving up & never letting go. For loving a man who loves our son whom he will never get to hold on this Earth just as fiercely as he loves our children who walk beside us day after day. Our love is the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime & the family that love has created is the most precious and priceless kind of gift.
Everett’s Mommy

 

There are no rules. 

There are no rules for grieving a child taken too soon; no playbook, no bereaved parenting for dummies with step by step instructions on how and when to heal, no degree you earn that certifies you whole & healthy. I used to wonder why that was, before I experienced this kind of devastating earth shattering loss myself: why there isn’t a guide for what bereaved parents where going through in a world full with people more than willing to give you their two cents.

I don’t wonder anymore. Now, I know the reality of living without a piece of your soul, without your child by your side.

Now, I know.

I know that there is no right way to heal; no amount of DIY books or tutorials could get the steps right. There is no day marked in highlighter on the calendar in which you will wake up whole and completely healed. No passage of time that completely heals the scars losing a child leaves on your heart and mind. No time machine to jump into to take you back to the time before; the time before you learned the reality of child loss. A time before you and your whole world changed, before a part of your heart went missing from this world, a time when you recognized the person staring back at you in the mirror.

There will be days filled with heart ache and darkness. Days filled with light and hope (I promise you, they are coming). Sometime the darkness will overcome you and the sunshine in your world will be quick, overcast, and fleeting. And then, when you least expect it, the sun will shine through and hope will once again fill your heart if you choose to allow it.

So choose. Choose to open your mind, heart, and soul to the love and light in this world. Choose to see the rays of light shinning through the storm clouds. Chose to give yourself the grace to have heartache and pain as well as uninhibited joy; never ignoring either when they pass through your life. Chose to see the loved ones still walking this earth beside you ready and willing to take your hand. Chose to honor your child with every breath that you take by breathing and living, truly living, without them by your side.

This choice will not be an easy one. There will be days when you consciously have to put one foot in front of the other to complete the simplest of tasks. There will be days that seem to drag on, without end, even when you’re begging and screaming on your knees for the sun to set. But then, there will be days when it feels as if you and flying on the wings of your angel. Days when you can physically feel the light that is now a part of your child beaming down on you and shinning through in everything that you do: these days are worth every tear, every bit of heartache so embrace every day.

Embrace the bad days as much as you embrace the good because without either where would we be? Without embracing the pain and heartache that comes with remembering our children we’d be left in a world where our child doesn’t exist and no amount of joy or happiness is worth forgetting the sweet baby that once grew in your womb.

Everett’s Mommy

 

Everett,

You’ve taught me so much baby boy. I never realized how much someone can be a part of our lives without physically being here with us. You’re presence in this world, in our family, & with your siblings resonates with me everyday. I see you in everything that we do and all that we are; your short life impacted our world more than you will ever know.

I will forever be thankful for the signs you send us, reminding us that you are never far away. The forget me nots, previously unnoticed, that now seems to pop up everywhere; their tiny, but perfect blooms reminding me of your precious body we held for far too short of time. The way my mind automatically sees you when I watch your brothers at play: they are getting along better and better every day, quickly becoming best friends, you would be so proud. The way every kick your sister makes resonates in my heart, in my soul, and reminds me of the sweetest kicks I used to feel while you where growing in my womb. I know you’re watching over her as she grows; keeping her safe and healthy until I can hold her in my arms as I had hoped and dreamed to hold you.

Although I will always miss you and long for you in our lives, I know in my heart that you are where you belong, in the arms of the Angels causing unimaginable mischief; I am more thankful for that realization than you could ever imagine and I count down the days until I hold you in my arms again baby boy.

Mommy loves you Everett. Always & Forever. From this world into the next.

Mother’s Day

On a day like today, when Motherhood is widely known and celebrated, many Mother’s ache in silence for their arms to be filled with the sweet heaviness of their child. May we remember today, and every day the mothers in this world who do not get to watch their children learn & grow beside them. Who walk this Earth with a piece of their soul missing. Who have the strength to get up day after day after day and survive this life without their child.

In honor of all the mother’s out there, whether your child is in your arms, playing by their sides, grown, or awaiting you in Heaven may you be celebrated today and everyday for the beautiful woman you are!

Everett’s Mommy

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Finding his place in this world

Snuggled up tight to our Everett Bear, a routine that has become a big part of my Sunday morning ritual, taking time to just be in my grief. Letting myself be sad or happy or lonely: whatever the emotion of the morning without him brings. A time together I cherish; a time to just be in his presence, in his memory; time alone with my youngest son, my baby boy.

This time together is often filled with tears and prayers that I know can never be answered. But this morning brought a new light, a new hope, an almost unwelcomed acceptance, an unwavering knowledge, that this is the path our family was meant to walk; a path that guided us to a place without a piece of our family here on Earth with us.

A strange kind of peace fills my mind, my heart, my soul with this realization. Our life, our family, will never feel whole without you by our sides, but our missing piece is finding a way to reach his place in our family from Heaven to Earth; finding a way to be by our sides and walk through this life with his family even if he can’t physically be here growing beside his siblings.

I see you baby boy, I feel you in our home, by our sides, and I know that you will always be here with us; guiding us through our lives without you until we meet again in Heaven someday.

I love you baby boy. Always & forever. From this life into the next.

Everett’s Mommy

Our Angels are everywhere

When our oldest son, Jack was barely a few months old he experienced his first death in the family. A close cousin of mine passed in a very untimely manner. To lose such a vibrant life at such a young age rocked our family to the core and sent us all racing towards Colorado to be together and support each other through the time of grief that followed. In the days following her death we spent a lot of time with her family in her childhood home and I spent much of that time longing and wishing for my cousin back so that she could meet our first born and hold him in her arms as she’d hoped to do.

The afternoon after our final goodbye to her I laid Jack down in a pack and play in her Dad’s study. I still remember this moment like it was yesterday; sitting in the dinner room with her family and mine and hearing Jack laughing, and I mean really laughing, at just a few months old. I rushed over to the study to try and capture the moment on camera for his Daddy and peaked into the room to see him laying in his pack and play reaching towards the ceiling laughing and wiggling like he was playing with someone. In that moment, peace rushed over me, and I knew in my heart that Jack was meeting his 2nd cousin for the first time just as we had both wanted. This moment is one I will forever hold dear to my heart; I will always remember the peace I felt in the presence of an Angel.

There have been so many moments since we lost Everett where I’ve longed for a sign like this from above. To feel his presence here on Earth with us and more often than not seeing his brothers playing without him often breaks my heart and sends tears streaming down my face; intensifying my longing for their brother like nothing else can. Like any mother who’s lost a child, I dream of the day my boys get to meet their youngest brother and I get to hold all three of my boys in my arms and experience what our life would’ve been like had Everett lived.

Last night, I got to experience a glimpse into that future with Everett’s brother Lucas before I ever thought possible. Hearing Lucas laugh, play, and giggle while he was suppose to be sleeping is no anomaly, but hearing him speak his brother’s name is a sound I’ve never been blessed with; he often points to our Everett Bear or snuggles him tight and almost religiously chants, “Bubba, bubba, bubba”, but never have I heard Everett’s name come out of Lucas’ mouth. So, of course, as soon as I heard this I immediately grabbed the monitor from my bed side table and watched as Lucas seemingly played with a sibling only he could see. I watched as he tickled thin air laughing hysterically as he did so. I watched as he shared his beloved Mickey with a brother only he could see. I watched as he talked and shared with Everett and felt the same peace I experienced at my cousin’s house after she had gained her wings wash over me as tears of joy filled my eyes.

This experience could’ve been many things, but I choose to believe the scene I witnessed through Lucas’ video monitor was his baby brother checking in on him.  I felt his presence, his peace wash over me. There were no bright neon signs flashing “Angel”, but my eyes were open and I know what I witnessed. I truly believe our Angels are everywhere if we just open our hearts, and our minds to witnessing their presence in our lives.

Everett’s Mommy

8 months and counting…

Absentmindedly looking at our calendar this morning I realized what day it was; the 30th. I never thought I could despise a date so much, something as simple as two numbers marked on our calendar can destroy my entire day and send me reeling back in my grieving process. I’ve come to love months without this date in them, months that don’t scream a reminder of what we’ve lost at me every time I see a 3 and a 0 nestle beside each other. I don’t need that added reminder; not a moment goes by where I don’t long to hold you in my arms, your life, your death are unforgettably a part of me.

I know it won’t always be like this, I know one day this date will pass by without a second thought of the pain it once brought and we will celebrate your birthday without searing pain running through our hearts, but for now little one I embrace the pain, the anguish, the sometimes seemingly unending trail of tears that accompany remembering you. I embrace them because they are a part of me, a part of you and with great love comes great pain and Lord only knows how great my love for you is.

Let the 30th no longer be a reminder of your death, but of your life baby boy. And every month lived without you one step closer to holding you in my arms again. (Thank you Bean for that beautiful reminder.)

-Everett’s Mommy

8 short months ago today we held your precious body and kissed your tiny lips for the first and last time on this Earth. We said goodbye, knowing it wasn’t goodbye forever. We love you Everett Charles and you will always be remembered as our missing piece. 

Please join us in sharing your loved ones story and/or supporting those we have on the Forever Beat in Mine Remembrance Wall: https://www.facebook.com/foreverbeatinmineremembrancewall/ in honor of our sweet Angel born sleeping on July 30, 2015.