Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Caden's Inconsolable Over His Brother

As I'm finishing up some scrapbook pages of Caleb's final day, Caden walks in to see the pictures.

It has suddenly hit him that he will never see his brother again (until Heaven). He is crying uncontrollably and is totally inconsolable. He keeps saying, "I miss my brother. I want to be in Heaven with him now. My heart is so sad."

Lord, please comfort me as I comfort him and hold us both tightly.

We still miss Caleb every moment of every day. He is always in our hearts, always in our thoughts, and is loved today, tomorrow, in ALL ways to infinity and beyond.

Angel, Richard & Caden

Monday, March 25, 2013

Reason to Celebrate

Caleb, you are on my mind more than ever today. You've been gone from us for 2 years, and it seems like so very much longer. I'm trying so hard to imagine what you are doing today. Do you get to have a party/celebration for the anniversary of your entrance into Heaven?

It's difficult for me to imagine that I could ever "celebrate" you being gone. At the same time, I can rejoice that you are with Jesus. He has wiped every tear from your eyes and removed all pain from your body. THAT gives me reason to celebrate. As much as I want you here with me, I would never want you in that much pain again.

So, today, I will do my best to celebrate your life. I will look at pictures. I will watch videos of you. I will hold memories of you close. I will miss you. I will love you with all my heart. I will remember. I will smile. I will cry. But most of all, I will look forward to the day we are together again in Heaven in the presence of God.

We still miss Caleb every moment of every day. He is always in our hearts, always in our thoughts, and is loved today, tomorrow, in ALL ways to infinity and beyond.

Angel, Richard & Caden

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Reminders of Caleb Everywhere

As we draw closer to Caleb's 2nd angelversary, I am finding it harder to keep my emotions in check.

When Richard was diagnosed with pneumonia, it scared me. I know how serious it can be and that people can die from it. I was terrified that I would lose him, too. Then I lost my pawpaw. I remember getting ready for work that morning & Richard walked into the kitchen where I was. He asked if I was okay and I said no and practically ran into his waiting arms. I draw such strength from him that I can't imagine not having him with me. That afternoon when I got home, he told me the doctor wanted him back for a follow-up but he hadn't gone yet. I chewed him out while crying and told him how scared I was. He went for his follow-up. He stayed home through the weekend resting as much as he could. It's taken a couple weeks, but I think he's just about 100% again.

Spring Break arrived. We had made plans to send Caden to Gma's for the week. I took him as soon as I got off work on March 7th. I spent the night and headed back on Friday. I went to this FABULOUS scrapbook shop in Corsicana called Scrappin' Goodtime. I spent several hours there learning some new techniques and working on some scrapbook pages before heading home. That was my plan for the entire Spring Break -- scrapbooking. I got several layouts finished and a few more almost completed.

Caden was having a great time at Gma's.

And I was spending every day scrapbooking and crying off and on. Putting together pages with Caleb in them was harder than I thought it would be. I think it was mostly because of the silence. When Caden's home, there is rarely a quiet moment. That child even makes noise in his sleep! But, with him gone...
This week has been one of mixed emotions. While I am glad Caden is having a great time at Gma's house, the silence in the house is deafening. With Caleb's angelversary just two weeks away, I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed at the tidal wave of emotions. The pain of missing him is crushing. The tears flow frequently while I'm alone, yet I am better when someone else is with me. I'm missing both of my boys, but in different ways. At least I know I can call Caden and talk to him on the phone.
I had more time to think about Caleb. What would he look like? Would he still be into Star Wars? How would he be doing in school? What's he doing right now? I miss him so very much.

I made it through Spring Break. This past Sunday afternoon while Caden was napping, I decided to make copies of the newspaper articles about Caleb to scrapbook. Once I started going through the chest with his things in it, I couldn't seem to stop the flood of memories and tears.
I've been going through some of Caleb's things this afternoon and just remembering. Of course, that means I'm crying off and on. Caden just woke up from his nap and climbed on the desk to be next to me. He looks at me and says, "Mommy, are you about to cry?"

"Yes, Caden, I am."

"Why, Mommy?"

"Because I miss your brother very much."

He then grabs his sleeve, pulls it towards me and says, "Mommy, if you are going to cry, you can use a little boy sleeve to wipe your eyes because it's big."

He instantly cheers me up again. Love, love, love his heart!
I managed to make it through the rest of the evening and most of Monday without incident. Then, after dinner, another reminder. Caleb used to LOVE running around the living room while I vacuumed. He called it, "making jokes with the vacuum." He would run close to where I was vacuuming then see how fast he could get away before so I wouldn't vacuum his shoes. Monday evening was the first time Caden did it. I laughed at him, loved the reminder, and held back the tears.

Tuesday was Spring Picture Day at school. I was already at work getting ready for the day to start when it hit me again that I will never have another school picture of Caleb or any other picture of him. Our family pictures will NEVER be complete. We smile for the camera, but there is still a beautiful smile that is missing.

Wednesday brought more tears. Honestly, I don't even remember what started them. I do remember Caden offering his sleeve again to wipe my tears.

Today, Caden got a cross necklace from the treasure box at school. When we asked him why he chose it, he said, "I got it so my brother can remember me and I can go to Heaven."

I feel like I'm falling into a dark pit. It's a place I've been before, and I don't ever want to return. It's no fun in the pit. It's hard to climb out, so the best thing for me to do is not even go there. So instead of sinking into the mire, I reached toward Heaven. I continue to lean on Christ as never before. I draw closer to Him and rely on His strength to get me through each day. I surround myself in worship and look to family and friends for much-needed hugs.

I don't know when or where memories and reminders of Caleb will happen next, but I do know what I will do when it happens. I'll be on my knees crying out to God for continued strength and peace. And, with His grace, I'll make it through Monday.

We still miss Caleb every moment of every day. He is always in our hearts, always in our thoughts, and is loved today, tomorrow, in ALL ways to infinity and beyond.

Angel, Richard & Caden

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Through Tragedy and Triumph

February 21st - I called our tax adviser to make sure I had everything for our taxes. As he was reviewing the information, I told him we needed to remove Caleb from the taxes this year. He asked if it was a temporary thing & I had to remind him that Caleb died in 2011. Another "first" I wasn't prepared for.

February 23rd - Caden has finally gone 30 nights in a row dry! In celebration of the big event, we had breakfast at I-Hop (his favorite), a carousel ride at the mall, a trip to the Lego store for more Legos, and new bedding (Star Wars themed, of course). As his big reward, he now gets to sleep on the top bunk of the loft bed we got him several months ago. He was so worn out by the time we headed home that he fell asleep in the van.

February 27th - Richard stayed home from work with what we thought was the flu. He went to the doctor late that afternoon & came home with a different diagnosis -- pneumonia. He said they almost admitted him to the hospital because of it. I barely slept that night because I kept listening to him breathe.

February 28th - I woke to a text message from my mom letting me know my pawpaw had passed away shortly after midnight. He'd had heart surgery the day before, survived the surgery then died of a massive heart attack several hours later. It struck me pretty hard. Not so much that he was gone, but because I don't know if he had a relationship with Christ. I don't know if he's with Caleb and other family members in the presence of God Almighty and that thought greatly distresses me. I wish I knew for sure.

I've also read about people dreaming about someone they have lost. In the almost two years since Caleb died, I've not had one dream about him. I've dreamt about other family members, friends & even people I knew many years ago for a short period of time, but never the one person who's face I would most like to see.

But that's okay. I am assured that I will see him again one day. We will spend eternity together in the presence of God. And until that day arrives, Jesus holds me tightly in His arms and never leaves my side. Through tragedy and triumph, He is always here. He rejoices when I rejoice, and holds me when I weep.

Christ is my:
All in All (Colossians 3:11)
Breath of Life  (Genesis 2:7)
Comforter (John 14:26)
Deliverer (Romans 11:26)
Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)
Fortress (Jeremiah 16:19)
God (Genesis 1:1)
Healer (Exodus 15:26)
Intercessor (Romans 8:26, 27, 34; Hebrews 7:25)
Judge (Isaiah 33:22; Acts 10:42)
King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15)
Life (John 14:6)
Messiah (John 4:25)
Omega (Revelation 22:13)
Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4)
Savior (Luke 2:11)
Truth (John 14:6)
Vine (John 15:5)
Witness (Isaiah 55:4)
Yahweh (Genesis 2:4)
and so much more than I can ever describe!!!

In His presence is the place I long to be. Knowing that Caleb is already there comforts me more than anything else.

We still miss Caleb every moment of every day. He is always in our hearts, always in our thoughts, and is loved today, tomorrow, in ALL ways to infinity and beyond.
Angel, Richard & Caden