If all had gone as planned, Koen would have been born two years ago on this day. He was due on August 29, but my cesarean had already been scheduled for August 22. We had planned on that, banked on that, were sure of it. So sure, that I had also planned for a tubal ligation right after Koen was safely removed from my womb. No more babies for us, our family was complete in our minds The paperwork hung on our fridge for months after Koen died. I was unable to come to grips with what had transpired. So much has changed in two years. It feels normal now. I wish dropping one son off at a birthday party, and then going to water flowers at the grave of another son, while my third son sleeps in his carseat, wasn't normal. But it is. Two years. A two-year-old. His hair would have been tight curly, like his daddy's, different than his brothers, but his face would be the same. I ache to know what he would be like, what he would look like. Growing up in our family, my guess is that he would be funny, tender hearted, and would love his mommy. I am organizing my craft room today, not a fun job, but finding the piles of love notes Hackett wrote to me as a preschooler has made it worth it. Koen would be starting that too. I miss him, every day, at every stage, even though it has become normal.
I have started to write about the most precious gift we received at the end of the school year a few times, but was unable to find the words. Today, on what would have been Koen's birthday, it seems like the perfect time to share the gift from our dear friends in his honor. Our elementary buildings are split - Kindergarten through second in one building, and third through fifth in another. This spring Hackett finished his time at our beloved BCEL. The staff, the parents, the community, wrapped us up in their arms, even before they knew us that well, when tragedy struck. As a result, we fell in love with this precious elementary, and all it represents. I was heartbroken to leave. It will be a few years before Tobin will be ready to attend, but Koen will never walk through those doors. I was very open about my sadness in leaving the buidling, but never my sadness about Koen not attending. Then three beautiful books by Nancy Tillman, (Whereever You Are My Love Will Find You, I'd Know You Anywhere My Love, and On the Night You Were Born) showed up at my door that were being given to the BCEL library in honor of our Koen:. This beautiful inscription:was inside:
This book is dedicated to the Soper Family in honor of their precious son, Koen, born on May 27, 2013. Koen will always be loved and remembered by the families of BCEL.
Overwhelmed, overjoyed, and touched beyond words. I had read never read Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You, until then. Or so I thought, last week I found a copy of it tucked away. My mom had given it to us at Easter in 2013, a month before Koen was born, his Easter gift. This book. I have no words. But I want to memorize the words of this book to recite to all three of my boys. It leaves me with tears streaming down my face.
Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy TIllman
I wanted you more than you ever will know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go.
It's high as you wish it. It's quick as an elf. You'll never outgrow it ... it stretches itself!
So climb any mountain ...climb up to the sky! My love will find you. My love can fly!
Make a big splash! Go out on a limb! My love will find you. My love can swim!
It never gets lost, never fades, never ends ...
if you're working ...
or playing ...
or sitting with friends.
You can dance 'til you're dizzy ...
paint 'til you're blue ...
There's no place, not one, that my love can't find you.
And if someday you're alone, or someday you're sad, or strike our at baseball, or think you've been bad ...
just lift your face, feel the wind in your hair,. That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.
In the green of the grass ... in the smell of the sea ,,, in the clouds floating by ... at the top of a tree .. in the sound crickets make at the end of the day ...
"You are loved. You are loved. You are loved," they all say.
My love is so high, and so wide, and so deep, it's always right there, even when you're asleep.
So hold your head high and don't be afraid to march to the front of your own parade.
If you're still my small babe or you're all the way grown, my promise to you is you're never alone.
You are my angel, my darling, my star .., and my love will find you, wherever you are.
Tobin and I took all three books to and read them to Koen before we dropped them off at the school library. It is one of those memories that will forever be etched in my memory. Reading such words of truth and love to both my youngest babies and weeping with them. I love them both all that I am. I wish they were both on this earth with me, but know there is no scenario would that would have ever happened. Wherever any of my boys are my love will find them..
To my dear precious friends and our Creek community. I love you. Thank you for loving us so very well. I will never be able to fully express my gratitude, for your thoughtfulness, and for holding us when we were too weak to stand.
I am Jackie.