Saturday, July 25, 2009

When you need your angel's help, just ask

I was awoken by the thunderstorms last night and as I rolled over I glanced at the clock which read 12:03 AM - July 25th was finally here I thought to myself...Jesse's 3rd birthday. I laid awake and said a prayer that God would provide us with the comfort and peace needed to make it through another anniversary. I also asked God to send my angel to be near us on his special day and to make his presence known...when you need your angel's help, just ask! If you haven't read it yet you should glance back at a post I did a couple of days ago about feeling Jesse's presence. I quickly fell back to sleep and awoke to the wonderful sounds of children giggling in the morning.
We had several things planned for Jesse's birthday. We began our day visiting Lowe's for a little children's workshop that they were having. Olivia and Brian made a helicopter for Jesse for his birthday.

After our visit to Lowe's we went to Memory Lane and spent some time at Jesse's grave. We decorated Jesse and AJ (our friend's son who was stillborn 6 days after Jesse) headstones with balloons, Olivia put the helicopter she had made on the headstone and we prayed.

On our way home from Memory Lane "I Can Only Imagine" (the song played at Jesse's graveside service) came on the radio. We pulled into our driveway, but sat in the car to listen to the rest of the song. As we sat there a butterfly flew past our car and landed in the grass next to the car. The butterfly remained there until Brian walked right up to it.

We went to lunch at Red Robin and then returned home for Jack to take a nap. After naptime we went to the Saturday night service at church because Brian was giving his testimony. After church we ate a quick dinner and went to the beach to fly a kite.

Here is the sun as it set on Jesse's 3rd Anniversary in Heaven - if this is just a glimpse of the beauty we will see in heaven I can't wait!

After the beach, baths and bed for the kids I went to the kitchen to ice the cupcakes that I had made for Jesse's birthday.

As I was standing there putting the icing into the bag I felt something at my feet, I kicked it away at first, but felt it again and so I looked down. It was one of the helium balloons that the kids brought home from lunch at Red Robin - notice I said HELIUM and that it was AT MY FEET. I remembered the balloon being in our bedroom upstairs. I walked over to the stairs of our tri-level and looked down at Brian who was on the computer. I asked him if he had moved the balloon out of our room and he said that he took it out of the room, but just put it outside of our door at the top of the stairs. So the balloon made it down the stairs and into the kitchen and feel to my feet as I was icing the cupcakes for Jesse's birthday. As I stood at the top of the stairs I released the balloon and it slowly floated back up towards the ceiling.
At the bottom of the stairs, down where Brian was on the computer, is a fan that is pointing up the stairs (it's always colder downstairs and the fan helps the air circulate a little better). I walked back into the kitchen and turned to watch the balloon. The balloon stopped floating up towards the ceiling and instead descended down the stairs in the opposite direction that the fan was blowing. It floated in the air near Brian and then floated back up the stairs and into the kitchen where it still remains now.
You might call all of these things coincidences, but for me I choose to look at them as an answer to my prayers. I asked God early this morning to bring me peace and to send my angel to be near me and I feel as though He did just that. If you ever need your angel's help, don't be afraid to just might make your day. Here I sit, almost 24 hours after my story began at the beginning of this blog post. It's my son's 3rd birthday in heaven, but I have such a wonderful sense of peace.

Happy 3rd Birthday Jesse

I am remembering you today and wishing so much that I could go back 3 years and change everything. You're life was taken from us far too soon and by such surprise. I had no clue that a life could be taken so sudden. I think back to the 7 months that I carried you right next to my heart. I remember what it felt like when you kicked, tossed and turned and I can remember the last time I felt that. Oh to go back....I'd do it in a heartbeat!
Another year has gone by and so much has changed. The room that would have been yours is now Jack's room. The walls that would have been red are now blue. The bedding that would have been lady bugs (since we thought you were a girl) is now construction trucks. Life has gone on, but it is forever changed. There is a whole in my heart that can't be filled with anything that this crazy world has to offer.
I had dreams for you, just as every mom does. I dreamt about holding you as a baby, nurturing you into a little boy, helping you take your first steps, teaching you to throw a ball, helping you ride a bicycle....but most importantly, as most moms would agree, I dreamt about the days of teaching you about God. As a mom, I want my children to have the personal relationship with God that I grew up with. I want them to lean on Him when times are rough and look to Him when times are tough. I want them to have the personal relationship with God that will lead to salvation. I dreamt this for you just as I did for Olivia and Jack, but you made it there already! You are spending eternity with the Maker of heaven and earth and you never had to experience one heartache that this world can hand you. I never had to wipe away a tear from you cheek or calm your fears. I never had to bandage up a boo boo or embrace you when you had a hard time.
I want so much for things to be different. I want you here with me NOW! I want to hold you again. I want to sing to you again. I want to read a story to you and I would absolutely LOVE to hear your voice! I look forward to the day when I will be able to do all of this with you. I just keep trying to think that all these years that continue to go by are not even seconds when it comes to eternity.
I thank you so much for the things that your short life has taught me. I have learned to appreciate things a little more than I ever did before. I try to remember that life can be sooo short and can be taken from us so quickly. I've learned that when I think I can't go on another minute that God can and that His strength is far greater than my own.
I'm so thankful for such an amazing family, church family and friends who have been such a wonderful support system for us. I'm so thankful that you have not been forgotten - that is my biggest fear is that your short little life will not be remembered. Above all, I'm thankful for our Father who has provided us with the strength, courage and peace needed to handle the loss of a child.
Jesse, you will never be forgotten. Until the day I hold you in my arms again I will remember you and what it felt like to carry your body right next to my heart. I will continue to talk about you and to share your brief life with others. You are one of my children and I will not let you be forgotten. I love you so much. Thank you for all that your short little life taught me.

Love always,

Fly high my wee little angel and sleep tight in angel's wings.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I thought it was supposed to get easier

Ever hear the saying, "Time heals the heart"? Doesn't that mean that things get easier with time? I thought so and it has appeared so until it was time to flip the calendar to July this year. July 25th will be Jesse's 3rd birthday and also 3rd anniversary in heaven. Each year it seems as though the work-up to the 25th is the worse, the anticipation, wondering what the day will be like, scared to reach yet another anniversary and then the day usually gets here and it appears as though it isn't half as bad as anticipated - I think this is all by God's grace! Thank God that His grace is sufficient!

But this year seems to be harder than the past and I think it's for a couple of reasons. First, I was blessed with Jack almost a year ago and I look at that little boy all the time and think just how much Jesse would have been like Jack. I'm experiencing all this new "boy stuff" and think, I should have been experiencing it a long time ago...this shouldn't be a new experience for me. I watch Olivia and Jack play together and wonder what it would be like if Jesse was included in the pile of kids on top of their daddy, fighting for mommy's lap or tugging on my shirt.

Another reason it seems harder is the series we are doing at church - Storm Watch. God's timing always amazes me - how appropriate that this series would be in the month of July, 3 years after I went through THE worst storm in my life!!! "Storm Watch" series at church: Why does God allow suffering?, What did I do to deserve this? & Where is God when it hurts? are all up at Crossroads website - click on sermon audio. There will be 2 more sermons in this series, one on July 18 & 19 and one on July 25 & 26. Brian will also be giving his testimony on July 25 & 26 - Jesse died on July 25th and it's his death that turned Brian's life around and he became saved in the hospital chapel while I was in labor with Jesse. I haven't been able to walk into church at all this month without crying and I don't anticipate the next two weeks to be any easier. Some people would say, "then just don't go", I actually LOVE the series and it brings sooo much comfort to me. Of course it brings tears of sorrow as well, but it's more about how God gets us through the storms in our lives and I know it's only through God's grace that I made it through the Storm of my son dying and I know it's only through God's grace that He used such a tragic event to bring Salvation to Brian and I know it's only through God's grace that I continue to make it through each anniversary.

Another reason it seems to be harder this year is because I have felt Jesse's presence so much this month which brings me comfort, but when I "feel" him around me, it just makes me want to hold him so much more. Some of you might be rolling your eyes at what I am about to say, and I was one of you before my son died, but once you experience what I have there doesn't appear to be any explanation. Just recently we have had toys go off in our house that either haven't been played with in years (in the crawl space) or when no one is around. For instance, there is a toy in the living room that we call the Elmo table. It's a toy that a child can stand at and there's buttons to push with music and talking and there is a big Elmo head that wiggles when the toy is being played with. There's also this Cookie monster head and when someone lifts up on his head for him to open his mouth he yells, "OPEN". Brian and I were sitting on the couch the other night after the kids went to bed and all of the sudden it yelled out "OPEN". Within about 15 minutes it made a few other noises before Brian turned it off. There's also a night light at the top of our stairs that has a sensor on it - the only time the night light comes on is when it's dark or someone walks past it and blocks the daytime light. Just recently it will be so sunny in the house and the night light will turn on like someone just walked past it or sometimes it will stay on for several minutes like someone is sitting at the top of the stairs blocking the outside light from it. I look up there and imagine Jesse sitting at the top of the stairs watching his big sister and little brother play together. Also, after Jesse died I started noticing a LOT of butterflies coming around. I would see them every where I would go and they would get really close to me and not be afraid when I would get closer to them. I would get a thought of Jesse and then a butterfly would fly right by my face. Every since then, whenever I see a butterfly I like to think that it's Jesse sending his love from heaven and lately I have had a LOT of butterfly moments - I literately had one smack me in the head at my uncle's house two days ago! It brings so much comfort knowing that he is so near, but at the same time I just want to go grab him and love on him.

In addition to all of these things my Rose of Sharon is starting to bloom. On our way home from the hospital after saying good-bye to Jesse I was just looking out the window and I kept seeing all of these beautiful bushes with these beautiful flowers on them - it was as if I had never noticed them before and their beauty was something I just couldn't get enough of. I started asking people what they were and soon discovered that it was a Rose of Sharon. We planted one in our yard for Jesse's first birthday and it's so neat that it just starts blooming beautiful flowers right around his birthday. After planting it I started reading about the Rose of Sharon and the reference to it in the bible. I had always heard of Jesus being referred to as a rose of Sharon, but after reading more about it, there is no where in the bible that he is referred to AS the rose of Sharon. He is SYMBOLICALLY referred to as the rose of Sharon because He is God's gift to believers - - this is the meaning of Jesse, God's gift! I just thought it was so neat that we picked a name that meant God's gift and then choose to plant something in our yard in remembrance of Jesse and it means the same thing AND blooms at his birthday.

I know that God will get me through another anniversary and I'm so thankful for his love, grace, patience and peace and all the blessings He has given me.

An Angel Never Dies

Don't let them say, I wasn't born
That something stopped my heart
I felt each tender squeeze you gave
I've loved you from the start.

Although my body you can't hold,
It doesn't mean I'm gone.
This world was worthy, not, of me
God chose that I move on.

I know the pain that drowns your soul,
What you are forced to face.
You have my word, I'll fill your arms
Someday we will embrace.

You'll hear that it was "meant to be,
God doesn't make mistakes"
But that won't soften your worst blow..
Or make your heart not ache.

I'm watching over all you do,
another child you'll bear.
Believe me when I say to you,
That I am always there.

There will come a time, I promise you
When you will hold my hand,
Stroke my face and kiss my lips
And then you'll understand.

Although, I've never breathed your air,
Or gazed into your eyes..
That doesn't mean I never "was"
An Angel Never Dies........

Author Unknown

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