Thursday, March 14, 2013
It's been 6 years since our son Riley was born still. He is on my mind almost daily. I talk about him often. But his birthday is today, and I didn't even realize it until a friend sent me a text that she was praying for me this week. It took me a minute to realize why she was praying for me, then guilt set in. I hadn't actually forgotten. His birthday (and Angel Day) is easy to remember because our second son, Ty was born on the exact same day, one year later. I think I was just so wrapped up in the busyness of caring for two little boys and preparing for their upcoming birthdays, that Riley's wasn't in the front of my mind.
The guilt was only momentary, however, because I also took this as a sign of healing. There was a time when the memories of Riley's life, both good and bad, consumed me. Even in my sleep it haunted me. My arms ached to hold him and kiss his cold forehead again. I dreaded each milestone. Each day, week, month, holiday, birthday he had been gone.
So have I forgotten him? How could a mom who carried a baby for 9 months, who wanted to give him every shot at life, who gave birth to him EVER forget her son? She can't. I can't. And I haven't. But in time, 6 years now, God has slowly restored my JOY. Not by replacing him with another child. But by lessening the bad memories and amplifying the blessing of his life
In the past, on his birthday, I would take a bunch of balloons to the cemetery and put one on each of the babies hooks surrounding him (like a little party...I know it's kind of weird). I almost did it again today, but I decided not to. I was going to do it, but only because that's just "what I've always done". And not because it's something I WANT to do to honor his memory. I decided not to because I don't feel like I need to do that anymore. I don't have to prove my love for him. I think resting in the peace that he's in the Father's arms is enough. He's ok. I'm ok. Today I can think of him and smile instead of holding back tears.
I miss him. But I know I'll be reunited with him in Heaven because I have Christ as my Savior. So while we are apart, I choose JOY. I have chosen to focus on what God has called me to do while I'm here. And that has allowed me to heal.