Grief and Loss · Holidays

One Year

One year ago my beautifully handsome, strong, perfect son was in my arms. His tiny fingers curled around mine. His baby-soft wavy hair brushed my cheek when I kissed his head. His tiny body rested in my arms.A year ago I became a mama again… but this time to a baby I couldn’t take home with me.
 I never knew such great love and such heartbreak in the same moment. 
Yet what a gift this was. Heartbreak doesn’t seem like a gift until you see how the brokenness opens you up to new depths of love, empathy, priorities, growth….(to name a few.)  

And I have learned that sometimes wonderful gifts still can pain your heart immensely. 
Philip was, and is a wonderful gift. 
How it has been an entire year since I held him in my arms baffles me. It crushes me to not be able to plan a first birthday party for him and watch him be mesmerized with the tissue paper and care less about the actual gifts. I so miss all the “firsts” that we would have seen this year- gummy smiles, giggles, first hugs, and maybe even a few unsteady steps. I wish we could have seen what kind of boy- and then man he would have grown up to be. 
If you had told me a year ago what was coming, I would have laughed and told you “there was NO way we could make it through that!” 

We have been through more challenges than I can count I this year. But we have survived -and that is only by Gods grace and through His strength that we are here today. (We ran out of strength a long time ago.) We continue to have hope every day- even if we can only muster up a little bit. 
We have learned so many things- how to love deeper, forgive more easily, let a lot of things go, and see the beauty & blessings in the details. And we know that it is only by Gods grace that we are still here. Most days we still live one day at a time. But we are trusting and seeking and hoping- despite all odds. 
We have somehow found a way to love our son in heaven & be parents to him and still find a way to come alive here and be parents to our children here on earth. We carry Philip in our hearts and the others in our arms. 
We have memories God gave us. So many mothers don’t get to have memories of holding their child in their arms, celebrating their life with a hundred people and seeing their child’s legacy continue leaving raindrops of hope in so many places.

 We are blessed. 
I can only imagine what kind of life he has now- a life where he plays on playgrounds and takes his first steps and never suffers a scraped knee, a place where there is no anger, no suffering, no pain, no sadness. A place where he plays all day with the other babies that are so missed from here on earth. A place where the songs of the angel choir fill his ears as he drifts off to sleep. A place where he is held by the Jesus who created him. He lives a life of glory, a life that cannot even compare to ours here on earth- and it will never end. Someday I know I’ll hold my son again. And next time, I’ll never have to let go. What an amazing promise that is.

Happy birthday in heaven Philip, I know you’ll have an amazing day with bubbles and balloons and the best cake ever… And we cannot wait to hold you in our arms again someday.(Be ready for a giant mama-hug when I get there.) 
We Love you forever our raindrop baby….

💙 Mama & Daddy & all of your siblings 

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