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

Riley Memorial Service August 17, 2014

We were recently invited to attend a memorial service in Indianapolis hosted by Riley Children’s Hospital to honor all of the children who had recently passed away under their care. I was nervous as we made the familiar trek to downtown Indy accompanied by my mother, sister, and brother. I did not know what to expect; of the event or my emotional state when the service would begin.

When we walked into the service there was a harpist playing beautiful music. We were instructed to write Lincoln’s name on a little felt square and add it to a Memorial Quilt that was set up down in the front of the room. Jeremy and I walked hand in hand over to the quilt and found a spot for our little sweetie’s name just as the service was about to begin.

They began with a prayer and then began to read the names of the children who had passed. There were so many names… I couldn’t believe it. All of us sharing the same pain of losing our children was overwhelming. We collectively held our breath as the chaplain read – Lincoln Huff. Jeremy and I stood as a very nice nurse brought us each a flower and a little memory pebble to carry with us where ever we go. My family cried more than I did, but I seem to go a little numb during these type of events. I honestly think it is my body’s way of protecting itself from the extreme pain and grief. If I let myself go, I know I will completely lose it and I usually only do that in the privacy of my home. I don’t think it’s unhealthy, just a way that I’ve learned to cope.

For each one of the children whose parents weren’t able to make it they placed a flower in a vase that began empty but slowly filled up until it was over flowing with carnations. They also placed little pebbles around the vase for each baby that never made it out of the NICU before it passed.

The parents were then directed to come down and surround the table that the flowers were on and we lit candles that surrounded a single rose that symbolized hope, strength, and courage. The chaplains also read Psalms 23. It really was lovely.

After the service we were directed into the lobby for refreshments, and we ran into one of the dear ladies who had been in Lincoln’s room the day that he died. She and a nurse had helped us make molds of his little hands and feet. I just had to let her know that those are now our most treasured possessions! And she remembered us. I was a little surprised, but relieved we didn’t have to try to explain who we were. The work that they do is just tremendous for parents who are losing everything… they provide something tangible to remember your child by.

It was hard being at Riley again, looking down those long hallways that I had walked so many times only 6 months earlier… just more reminders of the constant ache in my heart for my son. Still, I am glad we went. I don’t want to have any regrets when it comes to honoring him and keeping his memory alive. Thank you Riley for speaking his name.

I Am Not Alone

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I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart) I am never without it. ~ E.E. Cummings

I see Lincoln constantly. Things that I never would have thought would remind me of him pop up everywhere. As I sit here outside writing, the fireflies are beginning to come out, floating over the grass. There is a soft wind blowing the humidity and heat of the day away. And I feel him. I don’t think a mother’s heart can ever fully be separated from her children. Where ever they are, young, old, near, far, earth or in heaven, she is always connected to them. From the moment your little baby begins to grow inside you, there is an unspeakable, unexplainable love.

I remember the first time I ever felt Lincoln kick. I was around 21 weeks and had been having ALOT of serious back pain. My belly was really starting to grow! I was soaking in the tub (Jeremy’s orders), reading a magazine, singing along to some Adele music on my iPod when I felt I little nudge. I stopped singing and thought, “was that what I think it was??” I sat there silently waiting and when nothing else happened, I went back to singing away. And then it happened again… and again!! I knew without a doubt that I felt my little baby kicking me! I was so excited!! My eyes welling up with tears, I hurry and grabbed my phone and texted Jeremy the awesome news. I will never forget his response, “Aww that is so sweet, he loves his mommy’s singing.”  I treasure that memory and the excitement we shared together.

Everything is so different now. Life now consists of before Lincoln’s death and after. I wish I could visit the before again, but I know that for the rest of my life on this earth, I will sadly be in the after. My heart longs for my son in a away I didn’t even know was possible. Our whole lives were devoted to his care. It’s so hard for everything to just… stop. No more changing diapers, no more baby laundry, no more baths, no more  anything. I still feel like I should be taking care of him somehow.

I guess that is why I am OCD about his grave. I tend to his spot like no other. I visit often, and always after it rains; just to make sure everything is still perfectly arranged. I was there recently, cleaning off the dirt that had washed onto his head stone, and as I was crouching down, I heard a noise. When I looked up there was a squirrel just a few feet away, just standing straight up staring at me. After a few moments he slowly pranced away. I looked back down at Lincoln’s head stone and said “I love you… you’re here aren’t you?” and just then the wind picked up out of nowhere and his little pinwheel decorations twirled like crazy. I felt comforted in that moment. I knew that God was letting me know that He sees my pain and I haven’t been been forgotten. I am thankful for all of His subtle reminders that I am not alone, and that my heart can never truly be separated from Lincoln, even though we can no longer be together physically.

Lincoln is always with me. He is forever on my mind and forever in my heart. XOXO