I write a blog about sadness. I have written less this last year, and you know what? I have been less sad. Not, not sad, but less. It will forever just be less. I will never get to a place of not being sad at some part of my core. I can laugh, feel the wind in my hair, smell the sunshine on my boys blonde hair, and feel peace, calm, and happy, but a single instant later hear a wind chime and be reminded Koen and have tears well up in my eyes. Grief, guttural grief, does not go away. You can find your happy, be happy, feel happy, but the sadness remains.
I love Facebook, I do. It has logged so many memories of our life and I love it especially for that. This week though is a tough one. Four years ago this week, we saw our healthy baby on an ultrasound. Our healthy baby who was growing perfect, my pregnancy without complications. His measurements at our 20 week ultrasound - perfection. Four years ago we learned that Koen, was Koen Wayne Soper, our second boy. We left that appointment, went out for lunch while Hackett was at school. Kevin and I were giddy, texting and calling, and smiling without end. Our excitement was bubbling over. It had been six years since we had Hackett, it felt all new again. On that day, I bought Koen his first outfit, the one I would bury him in. My goodness I loved him. I loved on Koen during pregnancy more than I did Hackett or Tobin. When I was pregnant with Hackett it was as if my maternal instincts didn't kick in until I saw him, that's when my heart exploded. I remember trying to talk to Hackett while I was pregnant, and thought "well that's weird". But with Koen, I knew. I knew how crazy in love I would be with him, and I loved him more from the beginning. Hackett was at school during my pregnancy and it was just me and Koen all day at home. I rocked him in his room, sang to him, talked to him. Loved on him, and told him I loved him all the time. Maybe that is typical with your second, or maybe God gave me that as a gift. Koen and I had time together, peaceful, happy time, even if it was brief. I literally floated on clouds during my second trimester with Koen, life felt perfect. And then it wasn't perfect anymore. It was the farthest thing from perfect. I stayed floating in the clouds though, as I watched the world race by as time stood still for me.
I tried to be less sad, tried to move on. We got pregnant with Tobin, and while he has put my heart back together in so many ways, my pregnancy with him shattered it further. Three years ago I was admitted to the hospital at 24 weeks gestation with our Toby V. It was hard to get too attached to my growing belly while doctors are giving you survival rate statistics that lead you to believe you may possibly bury your second baby in less than a year. I had Tobin's funeral planned in my head, I wanted to be ready the second time. I wasn't ready to bury Koen and had so many regrets, I didn't want to make the same mistakes twice. Our faith was strong, but his outlook was not promising. As my Facebook memories continue to pop up this week and read my blog updates from three years ago, my knees grow weak. Tobin was not supposed to make it to term based on all predictions medically. He is a miracle. Tonight my miracle is calling me "Jackie". "I love you, Jackie. Follow me, Jackie. Jackie, lets read a book." He can talk, run through puddles, and he tells me he's happy almost every day. "I so happy, momma." Does he know? Does he know what a gift his life is? I cry this week, for the loss of Koen, for the pain I felt as I fought for Tobin's life, for the little miracle who leads a happy life. I will forever be sad, but my boys - all four of them (I'm counting the biggest one too) - make me less sad when I realize how surrounded I am by their love.
Jesus has wrapped me in His love my whole life, but He brought me in even closer the last four years. Tears fell from my eyes as we sang this song on Palm Sunday this week, realizing how far we have come. I will forever praise him for carrying me, giving me Koen, and safely bringing Hackett and Tobin to me on earth.
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I am Jackie.