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…