Yesterday's forecast called for thunderstorms and hail. I was already a hot mess, and the thought that we'd have to cancel for the first time ever due to weather was heartbreaking. It rained while I picked up the balloons. It poured while we gathered everything to bring to the cemetery. It sprinkled when we arrived and started setting everything up. Kyle pointed out the gorgeous floral arrangement left by a precious friend, and the tears started. My mother-in-law arrived with cupcakes that perfectly matched the bouquet (completely not planned) and I was officially bawling. But then the skies cleared as people joined us around his gravesite. We were all able to give hugs, catch up, and talk about my special little boy - all while not having to huddle under the tiny canopy we brought as back up. We quickly sang Happy Birthday so that the kids could enjoy the Main Event - the cupcakes. As they ate I said the following words, before we all signed your balloons and released them into the darkening skies. And as soon as we declared we were done, the rain came.
My sweet Gabriel, when I thought about what I'd say today, I thought about who you'd be now. Seven years old. Scuffed up knees, with a super hero obsession, and a sweet spirit. Probably tall like Daddy, cause that's how we grow em.
I thought about how my Zoe, my Rainbow Baby who came after the storm of losing you, just started school and should have TWO big brothers to protect her as she navigates getting on the bus, making new friends, and finding her classroom. And then I thought, "No, there's no point in sharing what would have been, what should have been. You're not here, you haven't been here since the day I laid eyes on you. Since the day I held you in my arms and carefully watched you take shallow breaths."
But then I decided to ask the kids what they'd want to say to you if you were here. After all, they're getting older and understanding your loss more and more. And do you know what Zoe said? "I'd ask him to sit beside me on the school bus."
Thank you, five year old, for that Life Lesson. My girl who pointed out just this morning that she was GLAD it was raining, because after the rain, we'd be able to see a rainbow. Of course it's okay to think about who you'd be today! You are just as much my child as the four others I watch grow year after year, heck, day after day.
Of course my Momma Heart will wonder every time I think of you, what you'd LOOK like today. I held you inside for nine months, so of course I wonder what you'd BE like. I endured painful labor and even more painful grief, so of course I think about how our lives would be so very different by your very presence.
There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of you, Gabey. I miss you more than most people on this side of Heaven will ever understand. My sweet Joel and the three girls who came after you are the gifts I cling to when I just want to be gone from this world and into your presence again…
Thank you guys for coming out today. It helps my family and I feel held, supported and loved as we take the time to remember him. It means the world to us that you continue to show up, to stand by us during the saddest day of our year. And to my sweet mother-in-law, who made it clear a few years ago that she needs to bake a cake for her grandson every year. A few days ago, I cautiously texted her to see if she wanted to just make cookies instead, as that would be less messy, and she said she'd bring wipes cause "all birthday parties are supposed to be messy."
One of my best friends just shared a song with me this week. One that has over 3 million plays on YouTube, and yet I'd never heard before. I was so excited to share it with Kyle, even he had heard it on the radio. But I needed it the moment it was shared with me and I've been clinging to it ever since. The lyrics shoot straight to my heart, a mother's words to her Savior after enduring the loss of her baby. I'd like to play it for you. So, if you've heard it, sing along!
I’m so confused. I know I heard You loud and clear.
So, I followed through, somehow I ended up here.
I don’t wanna think I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of Your plan
When I try to pray, All I’ve got is hurt and these four words - Thy will be done.
I know You’re good, But this don’t feel good right now.
And I know You think Of things I could never think about.
It’s hard to count it all joy, Distracted by the noise.
Just trying to make sense Of all Your promises.
Sometimes I gotta stop, Remember that You’re God, And I am not - Thy will be done.
I know You see me. I know You hear me, Lord.
Your plans are for me, Goodness You have in store.
So, Thy will be done. Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is, Thy will be done.