It's been awhile, a long while. Even when I'm not writing on my blog, I now find myself writing in my head. My sweet readers, I have had over a 1,000 people checking in since my last post. Thank you, I'm still here, just a bit rattled by Hackett's commitments and my Tobin who needs his mommy within reach at all times. I'm tired, exhausted, drained, but so grateful. There may not be a smile on my face at all times, but my heart spills over, even in my low moments. Is it natural to love your kids this fiercly? Is is normal to feel the most enormous love in your heart, so much so, that it hurts at times? I think so, not for all, unfortunately, but most parents. But I wonder if it's intensified after loss? Not that the love is greater, just that you are more aware, your perspective slightly different. To think that God loves us, with that same intense, always longing, thoughts always of us, can't wait for time together, kind of love, fills every ounce of my soul.
Hackett was in a musical this last week, and played one of the lead roles. First production at 8 years old, and he blew me away. He brought me to tears, not because I see an Oscar in his future, but that he was poised, confident, and stomped his fears right into the stage while he helped share the love of Jesus. He has struggled with anxiety since his first day out of the womb, and while he was a bit nervous for the actual shows, not near as scared as he was for auditions. So many lines memorized and he delivered them with ease in the sweetest western accent. As we drove home from his final performance I cried as I told him how proud I was of his overcoming spirit, and what an honor it is to be his mom. He is a gift. As I see his gifts develop, I can't wait to see how God will use him. I want to keep him small, but what an honor to watch him grow right before my eyes.
Tobin. He's hilarious. I'm not sure how a baby with just a handful of words can make us laugh so much, but he does. He likes to do work, throw things, dance, pester Henry (our dog), and read books. He has some favorite books, and if he starts to read something that is not a favorite, he will chuck that book aside like a boss. One of his favorite authors is Nancy Tillman. On the shelves in the library at our elementary school sit three books, dedicated in Koen's honor, and all three are by Nancy Tillman. I completed our collection of her books this fall, and his favorite is "You're Here for a Reason". As I look at the crumpled pages my heart grieves and rejoices. Tobin, this baby, that I am holding while he sleeps right now, is here for a reason. I'll keep him small as long as I can, but the privilege of motherhood will continue as I see what God has in store for him as he grows. Right now, he is the bringer of mi much joy!
Koen was here for a reason too. I don't have the honor of watching him grow or snuggling him while he sleeps or applauding him and glowing with pride while he takes a final bow in a production, but he has a purpose and a permanent hold on my heart. My heart ached as I hung his angel ornaments on my tree, but I smiled knowing that he is represented. That his life, no matter how brief, matters. His reason, which is evident to us, was to touch hearts and soften spirits. I don't believe God intended for us to live without him, but I do believe He can use all things, even the hurt and pain, for His glory. I have wanted to do something concrete to represent Koen, establish something in his honor. I have tossed many ideas around in my head, but have never felt the strong pull of knowing that I had landed on "it". Until this week. There is sweet family of six in California that I know from our time there, and one of their daughters is battling some dehabilatating health issues. A group of "secret angels" have swooped in, delivering gifts to the family each night. Little things, like board games, PJs, movie night supplies. All in an effort to give some of the joy and magic of Christmas to this special family, that needs it so. The result is giant smiles on their four kids faces, and reminder to the parents that Jesus is there holding them, and is using His people to shower them with love. I don't know exactly what it will look like yet, but I want that to be "it". Koen's Angels. His reason is to bring hope and joy, even during extreme lows. I want his reason to be a reminder of God's love for us. I want to spread the kindness that triples for days. I hope you will join me.
We have lived this scripture and want to bring this promise to others:
"Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5