Today would have been your 7th birthday. I still vividly recall the day you were born. We picked up D and took her to the hospital early that morning for an induction. Everything seemed to be progressing so slowly. Your dad & I sat in the room with D & her sister-in-law playing cards & reading books, while Grandma Kitty worked on crocheting a blanket for you. We were all so exited that we would get to see you soon. You, however, didn't seem quite so eager to see us yet. Things seemed to be progressing so slowly through the afternoon. Then towards evening, D started getting violently ill & sent everyone out of the room.
As we sat in the waiting area, it finally hit me that I would never get to experience what she was going through myself. I cried for what I knew I would never have. Then I cried some more because I realized what a huge sacrifice she was making in trusting us with you. I would be the one to reap the benefits of the pain she was experiencing at that moment. I would be the one to comfort you in the middle of the night. I would be the one to hold you when you were afraid & tell you everything would be okay.
As I thought about those things, I was called back into the room with her because it was finally almost time for your arrival. Your dad waited with Grandma in the waiting room. I was so blessed to be at D's side as you made your grand entrance into the world at 9:21 p.m. The doctor let me cut your umbilical cord. I didn't realize how tough it would be to cut. I thought how significant it was that I was literally severing the bond between you and her. Just as I made the final cut, you decided to urinate all over all of us! You hit me, D, the doctor & the nurse in one shot!
They wrapped you up and started to hand you over to D. She stopped them and said, "No, hand him to Angela. SHE is his mommy." I was shocked. I couldn't believe that I would be the first one to hold you. I certainly didn't expect it. I started crying again as they placed you in my arms for the first time - all 6 pounds, 6 ounces. You were so beautiful.
I never dreamed that I would hold you in my arms for the final time a short 5 years, 7 months & 5 days later.
I wonder about so many things that could (and should) have happened today:
- What theme would you have chosen this year? You'd already had Pooh Bear, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Transformers. I bet it would have been a Cars! or Star Wars theme.
- What friends would you have invited? Would it have included friends from school?
- Would we have had your party at home or somewhere else?
- What gifts would you have received?
- What would you look like today?
- How much would you have grown since your 5th birthday?
You dad & I went out for a bit last night and talked about how we're coping. I told him that you now have two birthdays to celebrate -- the day you were born to us on Earth (8.20.05) and the day you returned to Heaven (3.25.11). I thank God so very much for the time we had with you in between.
Your dad posted this note on Facebook last night & I thought I share it here as well:
Happy Birthday, Caleb!
Thoughts from your daddy.
I know you went home far earlier than I would have liked at 5, but tomorrow you would have turned 7 years old. We love you and miss you soooo much.
Your mom and I saw a movie last week that made us think so much about you and our life together. The Odd Life of Timothy Green. I remember your mom and I praying so long and going through so much for years to find you. Only to have you in our life for just 5 1/2 short years. In this movie too after trying so long, this couple finally had a son. Only to have him in their life for a season. The pain I have in my heart because you are gone is over shadowed by the joy I have that you are now healed and in the arms of Jesus.
Your brother, Caden misses you too. EVERYTHING he does is about "my brother liked this, saw this, loved this, etc...". It seems he speaks about you everyday now.
Tomorrow we will be celebrating by enjoying some of your favorite things you liked while you were here.
Looking forward to that day when I can once again hold you in my arms.
I love you to infinity and beyond. It's the beyond part that's the hardest.
We'll be sending you some gold balloons this afternoon at 4pm. Be watching for them. Then we'll come home and eat some of your favorite foods: steak, fried shrimp, macaroni & cheese with pineapple upside-down cake for dessert. It's not the same as having you here with us, but it will have to do until we are reunited once again. Have Jesus give you a huge hug from us. We love you.
We still miss you every moment of every day. You are always in our hearts, always in our thoughts, and are loved today, tomorrow, in ALL ways to infinity and beyond. And, Daddy is so right -- it's the beyond part that's the hardest.
All our love,
Mommy, Daddy & Caden