Sweet Lincoln

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When we were at Riley with Lincoln, I really bonded with one of the music therapists there. She was so sweet, and would come in with her guitar and sing to him. The music was soothing… I usually just sat there and cried while she serenaded him. It was a true moment of peace in his PICU room.

I showed her pictures and videos of Lincoln because I wanted her to know that he was so much more than the silent little body lying there… he was a smiley, happy, intelligent little boy, who had an incredible bond with his parents. She sang a song to him called “Sweet Little Lincoln,” that just made me fall apart when I heard it. The words say “dear sweet little Lincoln, our sweet little boy, we love sweet little Lincoln, he brings us so much joy. And when we’re together, O how happy we’ll be, ‘cause we love sweet little Lincoln because he is so sweet.”

After Lincoln passed away the music therapist came to our room to help console us and offer her condolences. As we hugged she asked if there was anything she could do for us. I asked her if there was some way we could have a recording of the “Sweet Lincoln” song. I was thrilled when she said she would go record it right away.

We ended up playing this song at his funeral. I cherish this song, and I will always have it bring me comfort and memories of my sweet baby boy.

It is because of our experiences at Riley with our awesome music therapist, I have decided to go back to school and get my music therapy certification. I already have my B.A in Applied Voice from IWU, so I applied and was accepted late last year to St. Mary of the Woods College. I will be going through their Music Therapy Equivalency Distance (MTED) program. This certification will be an equivalent to a B.S. in music therapy. I have been taking the prerequisite psychology classes since January to get ready to begin my music therapy classes this fall. I will be heading there for a short 3 day residency in August, where I will get to meet my professors and attend some music therapy classes and seminars. I am incredibly excited that I have begun this journey! If I can touch one life the way the music therapist at Riley touched mine, I will be so thrilled. I can’t think of a better way to use my gifts and abilities to help others, honor the memory of my son, and to share the love of God.
The “Sweet Lincoln” song is below… I’d love for you to take a listen ❤

2nd Mother’s Day, IVF Update, and more…

This Mother’s Day was definitely different than my first without Lincoln. It was also better. I missed him terribly, as I do every day but was able to make it to church this year, and sang in the worship team. I was so blessed by my friends at church who wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. I know it’s hard for people to know what to say to me sometimes, especially when how can I have a happy day when my baby isn’t with me? I was actually surprised how comforting it was to be included. I still felt uncomfortable wishing others a happy mother’s day, as strange as that may sound.

When I was at work throughout the week at Afena there were folks who wished me a happy mother’s day, and it was nice just to enjoy the well-wishing without having to explain anything or get upset. It was nice to pretend, even if it was just for a second, that everything is normal.

We stopped after church at a local market to buy some flowers, and this sweet humming bird kept flying around me. Now, I love humming birds, but I can never get a good look at them! As this one kept flying all around me I couldn’t help but feel that this was my Mother’s Day gift from Lincoln. 

I wanted to take a moment to give everyone an update on our progress with our IVF journey. With our fundraiser in April we we’re able to raise just over $4000. With those funds we were able to pay the upfront cost of $3850 to the Genesis Genetics lab, who is creating from scratch our family’s personal Leigh’s Disease test, which is just mind boggling that they can even do something like that. We had a genetic counseling session with one of their genetic counselors who walked us through the process of how they create the test, which will take about 2-4 weeks to create. Once the test is complete, Genesis Genetics will notify us and our fertility doctor in Indy that we can proceed with the IVF process.

The next amount we will be raising funds for will be the upfront cost of the actual IVF procedure which includes the medications, egg retrieval, fertilization, implantation, and ultrasounds plus an additional final installment of $1000 to Genesis Genetics. This amount will be just over $8500.

We are planning a large rummage to raise funds about the end of June/July sometime. If anyone would like to donate items to sell we are currently accepting donations now, through the time of the rummage, which we will shortly be announcing the date.

SNEAK PEAK – We are also planning a scrapbook party fundraiser sometime this summer as well TBA.

We want to say an enormous thank you to everyone who has made a contribution towards making our dreams of growing a healthy family closer to a reality. I really can’t express how humbling this all has been. We are forever grateful as we keep plugging away at making this happen.

I hope everyone had a lovely memorial weekend last week. We spent the weekend relaxing with family, and were able to plant flowers around Lincoln’s memory tree. It was so beautiful!

   

  

 

 

When Joy doesn’t mean “Happy”

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I will show you how.”
Matt 16:24
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It’s been a rough week in the Huff household to say the least… we finally did something we’ve been dreading, but knew needed to be done. We removed Lincoln’s pack n’ play and swing from the living room. It was hard, and we both cried while we did it, but we both knew it was time. The pack n’ play was still full of Lincoln’s laundry that I had washed the day before we ended up at Riley. The winnie the pooh hooded towel… the little outfit that said “daddy’s best friend” that I had waited to go on sale for weeks at Kohl’s and finally bought that he never even got to wear… it was just too overwhelming. I couldn’t bear to try and sort everything and put it away, so I just stuffed it all in a bag, and put it in his room. I think we just finally reached the point where seeing his empty stuff became more painful than the thought of having to remove them.

I have had several pictures printed and bought frames and hung them up in the living room, and we also have our willow tree items, and other momentos that make us think of Lincoln through out the house that bring us comfort and think of memories with our sweet boy. It’s more comforting to look at those things it seems like at this point.

I still go in his nursery though. It’s difficult to go in there, and I don’t do it everyday, but I always at least look in there daily. His smell is still there. I whisper up a prayer of thanks every time I can still smell my baby, and can feel any sort of closeness to him.

We’re just trying to focus right now on anything that can bring us moments happiness. I always have joy, no matter what because I know I will someday be with Lincoln again, and I serve an awesome Lord that loves me so, so much, that He made it possible for us to be together forever.  But for now, we are here… always having joy, but not always happy. Those moments of true happiness are rare, and I know in my heart they will always be tainted with grief. I’ve accepted that.

It’s so easy to become discouraged, as I see other young families and mom’s with their babies and children… why do they get to have it so easy, and us so hard? How are we going be patient as we wait to come up with funds to try to have more children? We were so excited to find out it would $15,000 instead of $26,000 or more, but $15,000 still is an incredible amount of money.  It’s at these times I just simply have to trust. It’s so hard, but I literally have to make a conscious decision to do so, and say to myself, “I trust in Jesus.” He is better than anyone at making impossible situations possible. We have seen it in our owns lives over and over again. And so we wait, and we trust.

We keep pressing on. Towards what we are passionate about and what we feel that God is calling us to as we seek to help others and share with them the love that has been so graciously given to us.

I want to say thank you to everyone for their prayers and kind words and for donations that have been made to help us on our journey. I was so worried about making the fundraiser, that people would think we were just wanting money and asking for handouts, but my wonderful friends and family really made me understand that this isn’t what it is at all. What we are doing is opening ourselves up and allowing God the opportunity to work. We are just showing up and saying “we trust in you” and believing that He really can do anything.

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 37:5 kjv

A Glimmer of Hope – Our IVF Journey

Jeremy and I would like to share something that we have been keeping very close to our hearts.

As many of you now know, Jeremy and I are recessive carries of a gene mutation that we passed down to Lincoln, which caused his Leigh’s Disease. As carriers, any future children Jeremy and I conceive would have a 25% chance of ending up just like Lincoln; having a short, and probably quite painful, life. After burying our son, I can tell you that for us, 25% is way too scary to even consider getting pregnant naturally again. We simply cannot fathom having to bury another child.

When we had our genetic counseling session at Riley, they explained to us that we could be candidates for IVF (in-vetro fertilization) with PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) since we are both recessive carriers, and gave us the names of some fertility doctors that had been able to help some other parents in similar situations as ours. We looked up IVF with PGD online and were disheartened to learn that what we were looking at would probably be in the ballpark of $26,000(!!!). So we pretty much dropped the discussion and now here we are a year later, and so badly wanting to continue our family.

Jeremy and I began to pray. A lot. For guidance and funds and basically God to work a miracle in our lives.

I began looking for a doctor to set up a consult with so that Jer and I could know for sure what we were going to need to save up, if we indeed decided to go with IVF PGD. I stumbled across the website of a doctor located in Indy that has had lots of experience dealing with couples in our situation and even he and his wife had to have IVF to conceive their son. I was really drawn to his site, and was feeling stirrings in my heart that we needed contact him. So I gathered up all my courage, and called the office and made an appointment. I have to tell you I was so nervous when I called I thought I was going to throw up! We have been through so much disappointment in our lives, it was so scary knowing we might be setting ourselves up for more of the same.

On March 18th we had our appointment… and I have to tell you that after talking to the doctor (who I will refer to as Dr. D) for just a few second I knew that we were exactly where God was leading us to. I talked about it with Jeremy afterwards and he felt the exact same way. Dr D was so kind and compassionate while he spoke with us, and I showed him a picture of Lincoln (cause I am a proud momma!) and he thought Lincoln was just awesome 🙂

We were also thrilled to find out that since Dr. D has his own private practice, he gets to charge whatever he wants, and we are looking at a total of $12,000 to $15,000, instead of the $26,000 or more we were originally anticipating. (Cue happy dance!) After lots and lots more praying, and counsel from godly family and friends, we have decided that we are going to go through with the IVF PGD with Dr. D.

Dr. D is very passionate about his work, and has assured us that he lets no embryos be destroyed during this process. Everything will be used and have a purpose, even the ones that are affected by Leigh’s Disease may be donated to research specifically for Leigh’s Disease. If we have any left over embryos we also have the option of donating them to a couple who is infertile. Jeremy and I both believe that an embryo of 100 cells in a petri dish is a potential of life, but without being connected to a mother’s womb, growing and thriving, it will never become a baby. Dr. D said it best, “life begins at conception, I can’t say that it doesn’t after years of this being my life’s work, but I’ve learned that not all life has the same purpose or is meant to live. Many “affected” embryos would miscarry if implanted, so early in fact, that you would never even know you were pregnant. It is these embryos, that I cannot with a clear conscious connect to a mother.”

For more info on IVF PGD, please feel free to watch the video below-

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/breeding-out-disease/

Because of lots of questions we have already been asked by the few family and friends who know about our decision, I would just like to address a few topics-

Adoption-Yes, we have considered it. Strongly considered it actually, and would like to someday go down that path, but we do not feel God leading us there at this time. Jer and I feel that adoption is a calling; taking and caring for someone else’s child as if it were your own is not something to rush into. There are so many other things to be considered, such as- who are the parents? What is their health? Will they want contact with the child in the future? These are just things that we cannot handle at this time. Especially with what we have been through as far as our own family genetic problems. Atleast we now know what we can expect with our own descendants; a child whom we would have no idea of what their family genetics or health is, is just more than we can fathom taking on anytime soon.

I know what it is to carry my own child, give birth, and to see that sweet, beautiful mix of me and the man I love looking back at his mommy. I don’t consider it to be selfish that I want to experience that feeling again. Lincoln was the most amazing thing to ever happen to Jer and I, and no one can fault us for wanting to have more of our own children.

Beliefs-I know that some have missed views about IVF and PGD especially. Please consider what it is like to walk in our shoes everyday. To keep on living while our son is dead because of a disease we passed to him… everyday. To know that at anytime if I accidentally conceive, I may have to bury another child… these are the things we live with… everyday. I would ask that you please respect our decision.

We continue to share our story in such an intimate way because we want to bring honor to God for His hand in everything we have been through this last year and a half… for never leaving us or forsaking us in our pain and sorrow. We are so thankful for the amazing minds He created that have invented the science to make a healthy family a possibility for us. We are excited to continue the legacy of our son Lincoln, who changed the world forever in the 5 months we was here with us, through his foundation, Lincoln’s Hope.

So on we forge down the path that God has called us to… and with the urging of family and friends we have begun a fundraising paige that will hopefully help us down our path to a healthy family without going into serious debt. We don’t want anyone to feel obligated or pressured to donate, but we have been asked about it by enough people that we have decided to proceed with a fund raising page on indiegogo. If you would like to check out our page or make a donation, please click the link below-

https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/our-ivf-journey-a-sibling-for-lincoln/x/10249074

Please continue to keep us in your prayers while we lean on Him with everything we have.

A Year Without You

I haven’t written in awhile as the emotions have been pretty intense… sometimes there are no words when your hurt goes so deep. Exactly one month today ago today, we had the one year anniversary of our dear Lincoln passing away into heaven. It has taken me this long to be able to write about it.

Jeremy and I both had the entire week off from work leading up to the actual date…
We spent it relaxing and spending lots of needed time together.
Our wonderful family and friends spoke encouraging words to us throughout the week.
I had a girls day with one of my best friends.
We received a beautiful care package from good friends.
We spent a fun day in Indy with friends.
Our wonderful church family surprised us with a weekend away.

We were blessed.

Friends and family also messaged us with “good deeds” that they were doing that Saturday in honor of Lincoln. Some of things were donating bibles, clearing snow from neighbors driveways, paying for other’s meals at restaurants, etc. It was so comforting to hear of the good that Lincoln inspired that day.

We also watched videos of us singing to Lincoln at Riley the night leading up to him passing away that we haven’t seen since he left us. After lots of thought, we have decided to share one of the videos. It was an incredibly personal moment, but the presence of God was with my son his whole short life, and He was there with us in that room as our sweet boy slowly began slipping away.

In this video, we are singing a song to Lincoln that Jeremy wrote called “What a Day”. The lyrics speak about what an amazing day that it will be when we finally see Jesus face to face and will sing praises to him in person. To think that just hours later my own son would experience just what this song speaks about… it just overwhelms me. I can barely see to type as I cry thinking about holding him for the last time, kissing him for the last time… but then the Father whispers truth into my heart; that while those may have been the last times on this earth, I will hold Lincoln again someday and kiss his sweet face. And what a day that will be…

As The Dreaded Day Approaches…

Lincoln's Build-a-Bear "Spots"

Lincoln’s Build-a-Bear “Spots”

When I first began this blog, I was telling our story day by day of our experience at Riley. I had to stop and give myself a break because I just couldn’t handle the emotions of reliving those days as I wrote. It helped at first, but with Jeremy struggling at work with PTSD and me working and also trying to keep our bills paid and everything, it proved to be too much to finish at that time.

But I think I’m finally ready to continue it next month. It feels like an unfinished book that needs an ending. I think it will help me process my grief in the upcoming month. I have to be very careful when I let myself dwell on events of that week, or I will be sinking into a bottomless hole before I know it. The memories cause extreme emotional and physical reactions. Before I know know it, I’m right there back in that little PICU room reliving every moment.

February 21st will be one year since Lincoln left us. Jeremy and I are both taking the entire week off from work. This day weighs heavy on my heart and mind as it approaches. I just can’t believe I haven’t been able to hold and kiss my sweet baby for almost a year. It doesn’t even seem real. His swing still sits over beside the tv. His play pen is still out with his folded little outfits and towels still stacked from the laundry we did the days before he died. I’ve moved a lot of his things just into his nursery because they hurt so much to look at every day. His stroller and car seat. The unopened high chair he never got to use… But those last few things I haven’t had the strength to move yet.

I tried to clean out his play pen but when I came across one of the last outfits I bought him, that I had been so excited to buy, that he never got to wear, I just couldn’t do it. Our grief counselor once told me that we shouldn’t push ourselves to clean and move things we aren’t ready to because you can only do it once. And right now we’re not ready. I don’t know when we will be. And that’s ok.    

Please keep us in prayer my friends as we approach the anniversary of the death of our son. It was truly the worst day of our lives. I actually feel guilty for even saying that because it was also the day that Lincoln was set free from his painful and diseased body, and made whole and new in Christ. So while my mommy heart knows that was truly best for my darling baby, that doesn’t mean that my heart wasn’t shattered that day too. All my hopes and dreams of a toddler running around the house this winter, first days of school, playing football and piano, years of birthdays and holidays and so, so much more were taken from me in an instant. And I have to live with that the rest of my life. Everyday he is missing. 50 years from now he will still be missing.

God give me the strength to face each day with courage!.  

Another Year of Missing You

Well, we made it. Kind of. We survived our first Holiday season without our son. Some things were easier than I thought they would be, others were much harder. It honestly didn’t feel like Christmas for the first time in my life. Things that I’ve never really noticed before would make me cry, for instance; how many baby Christmas ornaments every store seems to have, and how almost every song mentions “baby boy” and “infant.” On Christmas day, there was no rushing down the stairs to the tree to open up presents with a 15 month old. No laughter. No excitement. If only I had known that last year would be the only time I could ever buy my son Christmas gifts, I would have bought so many more. Taken more pictures. Not that a 3 month old knows that they are receiving gifts, but these are the things that run through your mind when your baby dies. It’s not always logical.

We had lots of get togethers over the holidays with family and tried our best to enjoy our time as much as we could, but… Lincoln was missing. Really missing. It was just so obvious. For me, it was like the hole in my heart was magnified for everyone to see. It’s hard not feel self conscious sometimes because you can just feel people watching you (especially when you are holding other babies), but many never actually try to talk to you about what you are going through. It can be pretty lonely to be the person everyone looks at and hopes they are never in your shoes… and I would never want them to be. There is just no way to even begin to fathom the pain of your child dying unless you have gone through it. I know, because I used to know what it was like to not feel this way. To have a living child. There is a bliss that you have that you don’t realize you have until it is taken away from you.

I do want to say how thankful I am for everyone who went the extra step and let me know that they have been thinking about us or keeping us in their prayers. It really means so much to me. It helps me to be reminded we are not alone. A cousin of mine shared a beautiful story with us of how he shared Lincoln’s story with a friend coping with loss. A couple of my work friends gave me a beautiful angel bear, and a “baby heaven” ornament. It made my day when I received those gifts. Thank you so much girlies (you know who you are, love you!)

The other night when I was at my parent’s house I was reading an article about a woman who had lost her husband, and how she always asked God for “signs from heaven” that he was still with her. She went on to explain how she’s received many signs in the last several years since he has been gone that have had been comforting. It made me think about all the different signs that God has sent to us about Lincoln over the last 10 month. I asked God right there, “Please send me a sign from Lincoln, I miss him so much!”

The next morning I was at work when one of our members came in and was talking about how he had felt bad that he had asked me about how good my Christmas was last week and had forgotten that Lincoln had died. He went on to tell me that he had just came from mailing off a donation to Lincoln’s Hope using the brochure I had given him when he had last asked about why Lincoln had died. Not one hour later, another member came in with no other business to do except to donate to Lincoln’s Hope too. I was astounded. I asked for a sign, and I got TWO. Not only were the signs meaningful, but they will help other kids. SO AMAZING.

It’s hard to be the mom of a world changer though. I have thought a lot about Mary lately, and how she was chosen to be the mother of a son that she would have to watch die one day. She pondered so many things about Jesus’ life in her heart and enjoyed her time with him as much as she could. He came to Earth to be her savior, but he was also her baby boy. It was her job to love him and care for him, but she knew he had a great purpose to fulfill one day. I know it wasn’t easy to watch him fill that purpose. But, because of it, my son’s death is being redeemed for God’s glory. Christ has already defeated death, and one day there will no longer be any graves or cemeteries, for they will all be empty. The old will pass away, and there will only be what is new.

I can’t begin to express how much I long for that day. The thought of entering a new year in which my son never lived has been difficult, but I know that it must happen so I can be closer to the sweet, sweet day we will be together again where there will be no tears and no heartache. I pray for the strength to live this life that I have been given. What a slap it is to evil when we stand firm in Christ through even the most difficult tribulations. I could not survive this without His love pouring over me daily. I hope so much that my entire life is spent sharing that love with others.

I hope for a year filled with love and remembering my sweet Lincoln…

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Merry Christmas Lincoln

My Dearest Lincoln,

Oh how I wish we would be together today my little love… and every day. The ache of missing you goes way down deep in Mommy’s heart. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without your smiling face.

Do you remember your first Christmas? Mommy and Daddy were so exited! We all slept together in our new Christmas jammies from Gramma and Grampy Marley. Daddy woke up first and just couldn’t wait before he woke us up! You had the sweetest little “Baby’s first Christmas” stocking. We got you a little first Christmas book and Daddy read it to you right away. We had such a wonderful first Christmas morning together as our family of three.

Christmas morning 2013

Christmas morning 2013

To Lincoln Love, Mommy and Daddy

To Lincoln
Love, Mommy and Daddy

Daddy reading to Linky

Daddy reading to Linky

What is Christmas like in heaven Bubby? I never dreamed that you would meet Jesus before me. You have accomplished so much and changed so many lives in your short time with us. You still are changing lives baby. It makes me very happy to know that you are in a safe place and are being well taken care of until I’m with you. Grandpa Robert, I’m sure, has his hands full. Are you singing praises to God with the angels? I can’t wait to hear your wonderful voice sing. I always wondered what it would sound like, I’m sure it is just beautiful.

We decorated your resting place for the holidays. You even have your very own little tree. Aunt Rachel made an ornament for you with a pretty pinecone and green ribbon. All your little friends had very pretty decorations too.

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Ready for Christmas

Mommy and Daddy are trying their best to make you proud and share your story with as many as we can. You are our hero Lincoln. You have made me the proudest Mommy I could ever be. I dream of when we will all be together again someday… Tell Jesus to help Mommy and Daddy be strong. We love you so much, and more and more everyday, just as if you were here because in a way you still are; you are living on in our hearts.

Merry Christmas my love.

XOXO, Mommy

The Hope of Christmas

It’s been completely exhausting grieving though the holidays. We both have been coming home from work and pretty much eating dinner, and falling asleep on the couch. It always surprises me how grief presents itself. I thought I was doing pretty good and then I realized it is taking at least 10-12 hours of sleep a night just to function at work. It takes so much energy to keep it together. I always try to give myself opportunities to have a “break down” and express my grief, but sometimes I’m just so sick of crying that I need a few moments of reprieve. We are so thankful for our co-workers and the wonderful support they have been for us through everything. I don’t know how we could be more blessed in this area.

We’re doing everything we can to include our sweet boy as we near Christmas Day. We have a special “angel tree” that is Lincoln’s tree. A dear lady from our church wrote us a letter after Lincoln passed away and shared with us that they had lost a baby around 20 years ago. They have a tree dedicated to their own little boy that they buy an angel ornament for every year. They bought us a willow tree angel ornament so that we could start the tradition as well… Her letter touched me so much and we are absolutely beginning this tradition for Lincoln this year.

I was keeping my eye out for an additional angel ornament for Lincoln’s tree and hadn’t found one yet when I was walking around Kohl’s a few weeks ago. I was feeling really depressed and missing Lincoln sooo much… I was becoming overwhelmed wondering how in the world we are going to get through this Christmas without our little boy. I stopped as I neared the Christmas decorations and said out loud “I can’t do this Jesus, please help me!” A few seconds later I looked over to my right and saw it. The perfect angel ornament for Bubby’s tree. It was an angel holding a seahorse. For those who don’t know, Lincoln’s favorite toy was a seahorse that played classical music . Jeremy’s Papaw gave it to him for Christmas last year. No matter what, that thing always calmed him down; he absolutely loved it. We actually buried him with it because we didn’t want to part him from it. It’s because of this we always associate seahorses with Lincoln’s memory. I knew that God was sending me a message that night.

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We’re just trying to take one day at a time. If I look too far ahead, it just gets too overwhelming. Like “how can we go through an entire lifetime of birthdays and Christmas’ without Lincoln?” We try to be as gentle with ourselves as we can. It’s hard feeling like the Debbie downer party pooper, when the rest of the world is so excited and joyful. I hope that family and friends understand that we love talking about Lincoln… We need to talk about Lincoln. Ask us questions. Say his name. A lot of people have said to others that they are afraid to bring him up to us because they think they will upset us. I promise you I’m already thinking about him. I think about him constantly. There is no way its bringing up a “touchy” subject. We are living this 24/7. We are going to be child loss parents until the day we join Lincoln again, however near or far that day will be.

I like to imagine Lincoln watching us from heaven. It’s a way that I still feel him connected to us. I’m so thankful that we can lean on hope and press forward. We still have a race that we are running, and at the end we will receive the BEST prize we could ever imagine.

Thank you father for the gift of your precious son, so that I can one day be reunited with my own precious son. Fill our hearts with hope and peace that only you can give. Please give Lincoln a kiss from his mommy and let him know how much we love and miss him. I can’t wait to join all of you someday. In the name of Jesus I ask these things. Amen

And So It Begins…

We knew it was coming… the start of a long season of holidays without Lincoln. It started last month with his birthday, and we now have to get through a holiday every month leading up to the anniversary of his death in February. The week leading up to Halloween ended up being really rough for Jeremy and I… I try so hard not to torture myself with the thoughts of what I should have been doing leading up to this October 31st (picking out Lincoln’s costume, etc). But my heart knows… I broke down after I got home from work Friday as the sweet little kiddos were coming up to the house for trick or treating. Jeremy always dresses up and sits out on the porch, and sings Christmas carols (he’s so crazy haha). He does it all to make the kids and parents laugh and have a great time. He gets so excited, I just know how wonderful he would have been with Lincoln, and how much fun they would have had together. It just breaks my heart. He should be here. But he isn’t. It’s never easy, but some days are a little easier to get through than others. I’m feeling like those days just might be a little more few and far between over the next several months.

I am so grateful that we did get to experience so many holidays with Lincoln, while he was here with us. There are so many wonderful memories we can think about as these days go by, but at the same time he will be so obviously missing too. I remember he was still so little, just over a month old when we had our first and only Halloween together. Our friends came over to visit, with their kiddos in costume. I, of course, had a mini photo shoot with Lincoln in his “My First Trick or Treat” onsie from Grandma and Aunt Rachel.

 

My First Trick or Treat :)

My First Trick or Treat 🙂

I miss him…

It just hurts so much… it goes way down deep inside, it penetrates the heart, body, and soul. I always ask God for just enough strength to get through each day, one at a time. I’m sure to a lot of people it seems like a lot of time has passed, but Jeremy and I are still so new in our grief. Everything I’ve read says the first 24 months are the hardest, but I know we are going to get through this. We are pressing on in honor of our son who doesn’t get to, and that includes adjusting to our “new normal.” We are back to just Jeremy & I, but we are forever changed. We are a family of 3.

I have come to realize that I like the “new” Stephanie more than the “before” Stephanie. This Stephanie is Lincoln’s mommy. This Stephanie loves more fiercely and passionately than ever before, and would give her life for those she loves. She is brave. She is hurt. She relies and trusts in her Savior like never before. So while I would give anything to have my son back, and not have this broken heart, God is taking the pieces and shaping me into someone “new.”

HAPPY HALLOWEEN LINCOLN! MOMMY CAN”T WAIT TO CUDDLE WITH YOU AGAIN ONE DAY!

Cuddles with Mommy <3

Cuddles with Mommy ❤