Mother’s Day

I think Mother’s Day is hard for more people than we realize. Those living without their mom, those with a broken relationship with their mom or child, those who desperately want to be a mom, and those who have outlived their child, face the day with dread rather than anticipation or excitement over the plans for the day.

My first Mother’s Day, as a mom, we shared our journey with Addalyn on stage at church and also dedicated her. We were barely starting our journey as parents (about 2 months into it) and had no idea what the future held for our baby girl. I didn’t know if it would be my only Mother’s Day with her here on earth or not. Talk about some hard emotions for a first time mom. I wanted to be able to share that everything was going well and she was getting the best care possible, but that’s not where we were. It felt a little hopeless at the time. We were trying to find a cardiologist to recommend her to a cardiac surgeon for heart repair and it was harder than we thought it would be; not because she didn’t need the surgery but because they didn’t see the value in her life. Despite the hopelessness I felt in our circumstances, we still trusted God and the plan he had for her.

The next two Mother’s Days were not near as hard as the first one. Addalyn was doing well after her heart repair and was beating the odds. Then just a couple weeks after my third Mother’s Day I was rocking my baby girl one last time as she went to meet her Savior. To say I didn’t see it coming would be an understatement. Sure, there’s always a risk of complications with a surgery and surgeries always made me so nervous but she had been doing so well and I thought I was going to have more time.

The Mother’s Day after she ran ahead to heaven was by far the hardest one. I didn’t feel like a mom anymore even though I still was. Being recognized as a mom when you don’t have a child living is excruciating but not being recognized as a mom is even worse. It felt like Mother’s Day was just rubbing it in my face that Addalyn wasn’t with me anymore. And add to that the quickly-approaching first anniversary of her going to heaven. I was a complete mess. It hurt emotionally and physically. It still hurts each year.

The Mother’s Days since Everett came home with us were a little more bearable. I at least felt like a mom again. But every year brings me right back to where it all started. Addalyn made me a mom and there’s no amount of time that will make me not miss my baby girl. I will always wish I lived in a world where she could have stayed and I also get my boys but my mind knows that world doesn’t exist. God’s plans are perfect even when it hurts. Her life prepared me to be Maddox’s mom, learning how to navigate the medical world and not being afraid of medical equipment at home. And her death changed the course we were on for growing our family and brought us Everett.

This year marks five Mother’s Days without Addalyn and I’d still rather not face the day. I’m so thankful to have two crazy, silly, energetic boys who call me mom and I’m thankful for the time with my silly, crazy, snuggly girl. Mother’s Day has changed so much since my first one but one thing that will never change is my hope in Christ and knowing I will see my baby girl again, in heaven.

7th Birthday

I vividly remember the day you were born. It happened so quickly and I was so scared. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since our world got flipped upside down. You had a flare for the dramatics since the beginning. You couldn’t just enter this world with a typical delivery. You needed a quicker entrance that required the dr coming up to the hospital (very quickly!) late at night. It was less than an hour from the time they called the dr to tell him you were struggling, until you made your grand entrance. You also had no interest in just being snuggled right away, you wanted to make sure you had everyone’s attention, especially daddy’s. He even left me in recovery to follow you. The moment you came out our lives revolved around you. Nothing else seemed to matter!

I couldn’t imagine that day how much you would change my life. I knew having a baby had that affect but I had no idea what lie ahead for us. Everything I thought our lives would be like with you quickly vanished. I wasn’t even sure you’d make it home. I’m so thankful the doctors were wrong! I’m thankful that God knew his plan for you from the beginning. He gave you 26 months when the doctors gave you one. His plans are always much better than ours!

I often wonder what you’d be like now. Would you still have that crazy curly hair? Would you be running around or rolling around the house? What would you think about these crazy brothers of yours? All the what ifs and thinking about how life might be are hard to escape. I don’t want to dwell on what isn’t and as much as I miss you I don’t wish you were back in this broken world (don’t worry, it was a hard realization to come to and does NOT mean that I don’t miss you or want to hold and love on you). I do wonder if birthday parties are a thing in heaven or maybe the day you got to go to heaven is what’s celebrated instead.

Whether you’re celebrating your birthday or waiting until May to celebrate the day you joined Jesus, we are celebrating you! We will be eating the usual pregnancy craving I had while I was pregnant with you (Cane’s chicken), making birthday cupcakes (your brother’s request), and I’ll try to convince your brothers to watch your favorite movie (Finding Dory) and shows (Maya the Bee and Masha and Bear), as well as watch videos and look at pics of you.

You are so loved and missed more than you could ever know, baby girl. “I love you so much but Jesus loves you even more.” Happy 7th birthday my silly Addalyn Grace. I pray Jesus gives you a hug and kiss for mommy and that you dance the day away!

5 Christmases

This will be our fifth Christmas without Addalyn. At times it doesn’t feel like it could be that long ago and others it feels like a lifetime ago. I’ve learned to cope with my grief and not cry as frequently over the years. When people say “it gets easier with time” they either don’t have a clue or they do know and they just mean that managing your grief gets easier (you get used to doing it). The first year I skipped Christmas. Yup. I’m not saying it’s the way to go or not to go. But for me, I couldn’t bare to open all those Christmas decoration boxes without my little helper. I also couldn’t stand the thought of watching other children open Christmas gifts when my baby girl couldn’t. So, in our house there was no Christmas in 2017.

The second one without her I decided I needed to do the decorating because I couldn’t avoid it my whole life or make the holidays miserable for my family. It was hard opening all those boxes of decorations and having all the memories with her at Christmas come flooding back. There were lots of tears decorating that year. It was also harder because as time goes on people tend to think you should be over it and they stop mentioning her like they used to. I remember being told early on that the second year is the hardest. I don’t know if it’s the hardest but reality starts to set in during the second year and you realize this is your life now. By the time Christmas rolled around it wasn’t as hard as I anticipated it being. The reason it wasn’t as hard was because we got an amazing Christmas gift of being chosen to adopt our son. He came home with us ten days before Christmas and was a big surprise for us too. I’m glad that I chose to decorate, because even though he won’t remember his first Christmas, I’ll remember it. That Christmas was full of so much joy and sorrow. But wasn’t that the way the first Christmas was? There was joy at the birth of our savior (I’m not saying my son is Jesus, by any means haha), and there was also sorrow in the world and what would come for Jesus. Something about having sorrow makes the joy even sweeter.

The Third Christmas without Addy was still difficult. To this day I see gifts that I might have bought her for Christmas or outfits for family photos. This was the first Christmas our son was excited about, which made it even more fun for us to watch him. I still thought about whether Addy would be walking and how she would be reacting to gifts and tearing open presents. But mostly I focused on being in the moment. I saved most of my reminiscing and tears for when I was alone.

Last Christmas was our fourth one without our baby girl and also our first with our second son. He came to us over the summer and with him came many reminders of Addy. He required lots of medical equipment, doctor appointments, and therapies. If not for Addy I probably would have been too scared to say yes to a child with so many medical needs. And if not for Addy we might not have experienced the joy that he brings to our home. Last Christmas was fun with our boys. They loved the lights on the tree and I was able to remember our Christmases with Addy with a smile. She always loved the Christmas lights too. That doesn’t mean I didn’t cry at all. I still cry because I still miss her.

This is the first Christmas that I’m really looking forward to. When she died I didn’t think I would ever look forward to holidays again. Both boys are at an age where they LOVE tearing open presents and will most likely enjoy the boxes more than the gifts. We will take our family photos and include our Addy bunny or one of her Christmas pictures with us like we do each year since she ran home to heaven. (We didn’t get any photos her last Christmas because we had just come home from the hospital after her tonsils were removed and we mostly rested. I will never forget holiday photos again. I still hate that I don’t have any from her last Christmas here.) After photos I’ll most likely be super focused on the boys and their excitement but I will never forget who’s missing. And I will always have tears as I continue to miss my baby girl. Grief is not something you ever get over, it’s something you learn to live with. As time goes on you discover that joy and sorrow do go hand in hand.

To My Addy Grace…

It’s been 4 years since I last held you and kissed you goodbye. Some days it feels like yesterday and others it feels like an eternity. I’ve started to feel like a broken record stuck on “I miss you” and “I love you” when really it goes so much deeper than how those words sound. Knowing you’re in heaven with Jesus takes away some of the sting but not all of it. The day you danced into heaven I didn’t think I would be able to keep living and breathing, the pain was so intense. But as the years have passed I’ve continued to going despite the days when I really didn’t want to.

You taught me so much about God and life in your 26 months and 11 days of life than I had learned my whole life before you came. The biggest thing you taught me was dependence on God and without that I wouldn’t be where I am now. I’m far from where I want to be but closer than I was. I learned to lean into God through the pain of giving you back to Him. I learned the best place to find healing is in His Word. I also learned that you can pray without saying a single word because some days there are no words, only tears. Your whole life you were helping point me back to God so that when it was time for you to go home I had a stronger foundation in Christ that would help me through the storm.

I think about what life would have been like with you still here sometimes but mostly I think about what you could be doing in heaven. I imagine heaven has the most amazing swing sets for you to swing as high as you want. You always loved it when daddy pushed you high in the swing. I picture you running free, which you were never able to do on earth. But most of the time I picture you greeting me in heaven eager to lead me to Jesus who is waiting with open arms. I long for heaven now in a way I never had before. I no longer feel the need to accomplish certain things here on earth before I die. I’m ready whenever the Lord is ready to bring me home.

I want you to know, baby girl, that I would have gone to the ends of the earth for you. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I love you more than words can say. I won’t tell you I wish you were back here with me because as much as I long to see and hold you again, I would never want to take you away from the glory that you’re surrounded by in heaven. It took me too long to come to that realization after finally asking God why He took you from me. I didn’t ask the question for so long because I didn’t want to know-no reason seemed good enough to take you from me. When I finally did ask I heard Him ask me “but would you want her back now?” Normally I would have quickly said “yes!” But instead I paused and thought about what that would mean for you and as hard as it was to say I had to say “no.” I’ve never heard God speak to me so clearly. He didn’t give me a reason why he took you home before I was ready but made me realize regardless of the reason you are where you are supposed to be and to take you away from heaven to bring you back to earth would be selfish. You are free from any pain and free from limitations. You are whole and perfect!

I’ll love you forever my Addy Grace and I’ll miss you until I see you again!

Never Fogotten

My heart is racing, I have that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach, and memories keep flashing through my mind. As much as I’ve moved through the grief of burying my baby girl almost 4 years ago and missing her ever since, my body doesn’t let me forget. The anniversary of Addalyn going home to be with Jesus is quickly approaching. I approach it slightly different each year hoping I can make it hurt less. I’ve always avoided social media for the month of May so I won’t see those “memories” of my posts leading up to her leaving me here and letting everyone know her healing took place in heaven. I find something to do in her memory each year on May 21st like planting flowers, giving gifts to others, etc. I don’t know what we will do on that day this year and honestly haven’t had as much time to think about it with two boys keeping me very preoccupied. Yet, with not thinking about the approaching date, my body reminds me it’s coming.

I’ve decided not to completely take a break from social media, but instead will continue limiting how much time I spend on it. I will avoid deliberately looking back at those posts and pray they don’t pop up on my feed, but I want to continue moving forward and not let my grief have control of what I do.

This year I’ve actually been looking forward to the month of May and have something to be excited about. Our littlest guy turns one this month! We didn’t get to meet him until July last year so this is the first May he will be in our lives (and hopefully many more to come). He is a fighter, determined to get what he wants, and is always in a great mood and full of smiles, no matter what life throws at him. I’m so looking forward to celebrating his birth and all he has overcome the past year!

Another thing we’ve never done before is take a break from real-life in May since it happened. We are planning a one-night mini vacation at the end of the month to spend time with friends I haven’t seen in a couple years and I’m looking forward to that too!

I guess you could say distraction is the plan for May this year. Focusing on other things to get through it. Too bad my body didn’t get the memo and wants to remind me it’s approaching. It’s funny how our bodies remember things and even if I didn’t have a calendar to tell me it’s the month of May my body would remember the trauma and give me signals of the approaching heaven date anniversary for my baby girl.

I’ve always wanted to just skip the month of May entirely since Addy died but for the first time I don’t want to. I could do without my body reminding me but I’m looking forward to all the fun we have planned and maybe this year we will try to celebrate the day she got to go to heaven. After all, that’s the best day ever, when you get to meet your savior face to face. It doesn’t make me miss her less but it definitely takes away the sting.

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? -1 Corinthians 15:56

Waves of Grief

I think about my daughter every single day but I don’t cry every time I think about her anymore. I’m able to think about a fun memory and smile or think about how she would have responded to something if she were here and that usually makes me laugh. She was a stinker! She liked to tease people and she also liked to kick people (mostly me). Haha!

Yesterday was my birthday and one of those days where I cried because I miss her so much. I wanted all my kids with me for my birthday but it’s just not going to happen on this side of heaven. Nobody knows that I cried (until now). I try my hardest not to cry in front of other people anymore. When she first died I couldn’t control it but over the years I’ve learned how to contain it most of the time. There’s a hardening you have to go through after your child dies in order to keep living. For me, I zone out if others talk about something that could be a trigger for me. I can’t allow myself to go there all the time. It’s exhausting being the person who cries all the time and physically aches for the child you buried. I wish I wasn’t the mom who buried her child and that my complaints were only the typical mom complaints of being tired because the baby was up all night (I do have that as well though). I don’t want to be this person who is overwhelmed by things that wouldn’t have phased me before. So many people tell me I’m strong for going through what I have but I honestly feel weak most of the time. Some days I feel like I’ve got it together and I can tackle whatever the day throws at me but those days seem to be few and far between now.

Today was not a day that I felt like I could tackle anything. I didn’t get much sleep and Everett was extra needy first thing this morning. Our little man is also having a minor procedure which is probably what added to my stress and inability to control my frustrations. It wasn’t until the nurses came to take our tiny guy back for his procedure that it really hit me though…the last time I was here for my baby to have a surgery was the one Addy didn’t come home from the hospital after. It’s not that I didn’t know this but it hit me hard when they came to take him. I gave him squeezes and kisses and told him I love him then froze as the memory flashed through my mind. I got this sinking feeling in my stomach and my eyes started to burn as tears tried to start coming. The nurse must have noticed and reassured me for a second time that he is going to be fine and that they will take good care of him for me. I’ve never doubted that my babies wouldn’t be well cared for here. It’s the reason we still come even after Addy died here. I can’t imagine taking my babies anywhere else. I know our doctors care and do everything they can for all children, regardless of a diagnosis. Now I sit here alone waiting for him to come out so I can give him all the snuggles and love when he is done. Stupid covid.

Knowing God has a plan and loves him more than I ever can doesn’t take away all of my nervousness. But I do know if things go wrong (according to man) that my God will always be there helping me keep living his purpose for my life. And he is with our baby boy every step of the way. I look forward to the day when I can share his story and all he has overcome. As of now he should officially be our baby by summer (but things can always change) and I can share all the amazing miracles God has done for our tiny guy. I know God has big plans for our tiny fighter!

2nd Birthday

As birthdays approach I find myself feeling nervous. For Addy it was because we knew her time with us would be limited and we didn’t know if she would make it to her next birthday. We celebrated half birthdays for her as well as her actual birthday. We celebrated our baby girl’s birth 4 times and then she was gone. When we celebrated her second birthday I didn’t really think she would be gone before her third birthday. She was doing so well and gave us no reason to think she wouldn’t keep thriving. Yet only two months and eleven days later I held her as she took her last breaths on earth. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. I was supposed to take my baby girl home to keep celebrating more birthdays. I wasn’t supposed to have to bury my two year old. This wasn’t part of my plan. But God…He can turn any heartache and pain into something beautiful. That doesn’t mean the pain goes away but it does give purpose to the pain.

Tomorrow my Everett turns two and it leaves me with mixed feelings. I’m excited that he is getting bigger (I know, not the typical mom feeling) and I’m also nervous that he’s turning two. He will be the age Addy was when she died. Watching my baby boy grow up is so fun (and exhausting). It’s all I wanted for Addy-to watch her grow up. Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow but there’s something about this age. Will I have a child that lives past the age of two? Am I going to be extra nervous this whole year of his twos? Is there anything I should be doing to prevent him from dying too? Obviously these are irrational fears but that’s what happens when you live the unimaginable. It’s not that I live in constant fear but they definitely sneak in from time to time and I have to work to fight it back.

I haven’t found the answer for how to stop those fears from creeping in. I haven’t figured out how to not get nervous about what the future holds. I have found that calling it what it is and going to what I know is true has helped. I know God told us we would face struggles and pain in this world. I just wish sometimes it would let up. But since that isn’t going to happen it gives me more reason to live in anticipation of being with my savior where heartache and pain are no more.

Tomorrow I will do my best to focus on the day and my big boy growing up into the silliest, most fun-loving, dancing like no one is watching, strong-willed, best hugger, crazy, sweet guy. He’s going to do great things with all God has given him!


This year May came in like a wrecking ball, to say the least. Total mayhem. Not all bad and definitely not all good either. I brace myself for the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the month of May each year but nothing could have prepared me for what lie ahead this time.

Obviously this year has already been different in so many ways. Being shut in 24/7 during a pandemic is not something I ever imagined would happen. We have handled it as best we can. Teaching online with a one year old who wants constant attention was not the easiest but we managed and made it through! Online teaching isn’t even what created the mayhem this month though.

Everett woke up May 2nd a little grumpier than normal and didn’t want to eat his breakfast which is not like him at all. He loves to eat. I didn’t think much of it until 20 minutes later he had a disgusting diarrhea diaper. I figured his tummy must have been bothering him with getting that out and that was why he didn’t eat. I was FaceTiming my mom (a much more frequent thing now with not being able to see people) and he came to sit next to me on the couch. Next thing I know he starts vomiting. On my couch, then the floor. The next 11 days it was constant diarrhea (every 30-45 min most of those days) and vomiting for about 6 of them. Day one was a Saturday so I did teledoc and got zofran for him but then he started running a fever later that day and I called the on call nurse for his pediatrician. It was the same thing though, just try to keep him hydrated, give Tylenol and ibuprofen, and wait it out for now. He did not improve over the weekend so I took him to his dr Monday morning and they did a stool sample (that was fun to get-I was sent home with the tube to collect it in and brought it back to them). We got the results the next day…salmonella. I went through all the possible ways he could have gotten it with the dr but we have no clue where it came from. The only thing to do was keep him hydrated and wait for it to pass. The following day is when he decided to sleep all day and it was a battle to get fluids in him. He slept through the night and the next morning refused liquids and the small amount I got him to drink he vomited up. So, the one thing I really wanted to avoid happened…we were sent to the ER where he was admitted for dehydration. This was day 5 of salmonella, we were told it would pass in 4-7 days. He was supposed to be improving (or so we thought). The ER dr said he would likely have the diarrhea for 14 days and the fever that was coming and going would last another few days. Thankfully at that point the vomit was less frequent and the morning he was admitted ended up being his last vomit. He stayed one night and received IV fluids throughout the night. He woke up feeling much better and was ready to eat something. This was the first time since he was sick that he actually wanted to eat. My poor baby lost almost 3 lbs during this whole ordeal. We were sent home the next day once his intake was greater than his output. While sitting in that hospital room holding my miserable baby, I thought “of course this is happening in May.” Three years before we were in the same hospital for Addy (two weeks shy of three years, to be exact) except we didn’t come home with her. I have a serious love/hate relationship with that hospital. The new hospital policies made it even harder to be there. It was just the two of us. Daddy couldn’t come visit and I had to meet him at the entrance to get things from him. I’m so thankful it was only one night. Being there made me think of Addy’s last days here on earth often and I’m not sure I could have taken it much longer. He wasn’t all better when we left, but he could drink enough fluids and would take some bites of food. It was day 11 that there was a noticeable change. He wanted to play and he was eating more food. He still wanted to be held often and was very weak. Day 12 was a huge improvement and he was pretty much back to himself with eating and playing (still weak and getting his strength back). Salmonella is horrible! Since we don’t know how he got it, we don’t know how to prevent it from happening again. But, I’m upping my cleaning game and heating up all vegetables he eats in case it came from them somehow.

The day after Rett was back to himself we got a text that added to the mayhem. We were asked if we could take two emergency foster placements. A 2 month old boy and 2 yr old girl. They arrived around 11pm that night and our journey as foster parents officially started. Once all the case workers left I wondered what we were doing. Could we do this?? Three kids under 3 yrs?? The first couple days had me continuing to question our own sanity in saying yes. Sleepless nights with a baby up every few hours and a toddler waking up screaming, and Rett deciding to join them in waking up in the middle of the night too. We worked on sticking to a routine immediately to try and help them adjust. Baby is doing well with some moments of inconsolable crying but they are less frequent now. Big girl is sleeping better and not waking up screaming anymore (just once in the past three nights). Rett loves having a friend to play with and is always so excited to go in her room in the morning to get her up. They have their moments of fighting but they play well more than they fight. Routine and consistency has definitely been our lifesaver. And as crazy as it sounds in my head that we said yes to having three kids under the age of three in our house, it doesn’t actually feel so crazy anymore (except when everyone is having a meltdown from hunger or sleepiness haha). Just a few days after first writing this they left as soon as they arrived. They have been moved to another home. I pray they adjust well to their new home. I also pray for my baby’s heart as he misses them and doesn’t understand why they’re gone as quickly as they came.

One week after our foster babies’ arrival marked 3 years since I held my baby girl in my arms. I long for feeling her little arms around my neck again, hearing her laugh, holding her in my arms, and telling her how much I love her. I had more distractions this year leading up to her heaven anniversary, but the ache of missing her is still there. I miss getting her up in the morning, hooking her up to her feeding pump and then getting back in bed with her while we watch tv together. She was the best at relaxing in the morning and letting mommy take her time really waking up. I often imagine what she would be doing if she were still here. She would be starting kindergarten in the fall (or maybe not-with all this COVID craziness), she was on the typical growth charts when she died and I wonder if she would have stayed on it or if her growth would have slowed down some. I’m pretty positive that crazy hair would have just gotten crazier. She had the best hair! I don’t visit her grave very often. I know she’s not really there, but I do go for holidays to change out her flowers. We didn’t make it this year for her heaven anniversary but that doesn’t change how much I’m thinking about her and miss her. Mommy loves you forever Addalyn Grace! You would love all the chaos in our house right now if you were here!

The year 2020 will always be remembered for the mayhem that came in May. I have no idea what the future holds for our family but I do know that God does and He is in control. So we continue to move forward in faith doing the next thing He calls us to.

May is Not My Month

May is the hardest month of the year for me. Other months are hard too, for various reasons, but May is the one I’d prefer to skip over each year. I dread it as it approaches and I am so thankful each year that I survive it.

Mother’s Day and the anniversary of my Addy Grace running ahead to heaven both happen in May. The Sunday before Mother’s Day is Bereaved Mother’s Day too. The month of May just piles on the reminders that my baby girl isn’t here and adds to the heart ache.

Mother’s Day is one of the hardest times of the year since she left. This will be the third without her in my arms. I try not to focus on what I don’t have and be grateful for my son, but there’s no replacing a child. No matter how many children we raise I will always miss my baby girl, the one who first made me a mom. She introduced me to the joy and struggles of being a mom. She taught me the importance of slowing down and appreciating every moment with the ones I love. I don’t know what kind of mom I would be now without her showing me the ropes and throwing lots of curve balls my way.

THE hardest day for me is May 21st. The anniversary of when I rocked my baby to sleep as she awoke in heaven. I try to stay busy doing things in memory of her so that I can keep going. Because all I want to do on that day is curl up in bed and watch her favorite movie (Finding Dory), or her favorite show (Maya the Bee) and pretend she’s still here with me. Instead, I force myself out of bed and keep living. God isn’t finished with me yet and staying in bed all day isn’t going to make me feel any better.

May 21st brings back so many vivid pictures of her last night and morning in the hospital. Doctors and nurses swarming in and pumping her full of fluids, doing CPR to bring her back, falling on the hospital floor crying out for my baby to be saved, then sitting in a small room with my husband and close family as I realized God was healing my baby. It just wasn’t the way I wanted Him to. She had already been put under for intubation when I came back by her bedside to rock her to sleep one last time. I don’t know if she could hear me but all I could tell her was how sorry mommy was that she tried to “fix” her when she was perfect the way God made her. Every surgery was done to help improve her quality of life and give her the best chance at life. But, that didn’t matter anymore in that moment. In that moment I felt as if I failed my baby miserably and made the wrong choice. In that moment I wanted to go back to when we were at home playing and laughing. In that moment I felt as if God left me and no longer cared what happened to me or my baby. In that moment all I felt was pain and loneliness. Looking back now I see it differently than how I did in the moment. Looking back at that moment while I rocked my baby girl for the last time I now see God beside me, weeping with me. In my mind I can see Him holding me close telling me He knows it hurts and always will while I’m here on earth, but not to forget where she is and that when it’s my time to come home I will get to hold her again. He’s reminding me that He is always right beside me to pick me back up when I fall and that even though time won’t heal this pain, I will start to remember the good memories with her more than the painful ones.

While I have lots of good memories with my baby girl that I focus on, I still cry more in the month of May. I cry because it still hurts and I still miss her deeply. I also cry because even though it hurts now I know how this all ends. I will continue to do more of what she taught me, especially in the month of May, and enjoy all the time I can with those I love. Each year since she died I take a break from social media for the month. Partly so I won’t see the memories pop up of my posts leading up to and after her death. But the main reason, this year, is to refocus on what is important and not waste hours a day watching others live. If you’re curious what we’re up to, want to share with me what you’re up to, or want to get together once we’re free from this COVID-19 mess, you can text or message me. I’ll be out there trying to live my life to the fullest in memory of my Addy Grace.

Easter Number 3

Tomorrow is Easter (the third one without Addalyn here) and the reason I don’t grieve for my baby as those who have no hope grieve. Don’t get me wrong, I grieve my baby, I miss her like crazy and think about her every single day, but I know how this all ends. I know she is with Jesus. I know she is free from the pain of this world and is praising our savior. I know I will be reunited with her one day, when my time here is finished. Since she ran ahead to heaven I long for heaven, as I should have been all along. Something about her being there has made it more real to me.

Easter has become a more emotional time of year for me for many reasons. First and foremost it’s because of what Jesus did on that cross and His resurrection that gives me the hope I have and reassures me that I will see my baby girl again. Throughout the year I often think about how Jesus pleaded with God to let this cup pass from him if at all possible. He did not want to suffer and die if there was any other way. But, in the end He willingly accepted the will of God. I know the feeling of crying out to God pleading for the pain to stop. Begging for their to be another way for His plans to be fulfilled. I also understand the acceptance that follows and accompanies the pain. I have accepted His plans for my life and for Addy’s. It doesn’t mean I understand them but I’ve accepted and desire to follow His will. Another aspect I’ve thought on often is how much God loves His son and even though he knew how it all would end I imagine the pain was still great. The most frequent aspect of Easter that I think about is Mary’s perspective. As a mom who has watched her child die I often imagine her pain as she watched Jesus suffer and die. But, the whole point of this holiday and the reason we even call it “Good Friday” is because what follows. Death could not hold Him. My Savior conquered the grave! He is the reason I have hope and the reason I long for heaven.

There are few things I remember during the first few days after Addy died but I do remember knowing exactly what I wanted her to be buried in. She is wearing her Easter dress from her last Easter here on earth. I couldn’t think of anything more fitting than what she wore to celebrate our savior’s resurrection. As we enter into another Easter celebration I consider what Jesus did on the cross and how He defeated death, and I also think of my sweet girl entering heaven and the arms of Jesus. I picture her running to Him and when I arrive I imagine her being there excited to take my hand and lead me to Him. I don’t know what it will really be like but it’s how I like to envision it. And though I often fall short of being the person I try to be for God I hope he welcomes me with a “well done my good and faithful servant.”