Happy Birthday Big Brother.

Finleigh knew this was a day for her brother from the moment she woke up this morning. She has a musical seahorse just like Lincoln’s (he loved it so much he was buried with it) that she sleeps with every night. It stays in her bed during the day, but today she wanted to play the music and carry it around all morning which she has never done before.

There are a few high shelves in Finleigh’s room that have some of Lincoln’s belongings as well as the angel bear that Riley gave me to hold right after Lincoln passed. I carried it all that day and slept with it for awhile. When Finleigh got up from her nap she specifically pointed to it, said “bear?” and wanted Daddy to get it down. We’ve not let her play with that bear because we don’t want anything to happen to it and the shelf is high enough she doesn’t really pay attention to what’s up there. She was adamant to have that bear and proceeded to hug it, carry it around, feed it and have it go potty.

She wanted to bring it with us when we headed to the cemetery and we just couldn’t say no so off we went. Finleigh was so sweet helping decorate for her brother’s birthday placing flowers and setting up the pin wheel.

She has a special connection with her brother ❤️

We finished off the night with a beautiful lantern for our birthday boy.

 

Our day is finally at an end, 6 birthdays celebrated.

I’m so jealous of Grandpa Freddie who made it just in time for your heavenly party baby. I know he gave you all the updates on your little sister and how much we all love and miss you. I know he was so excited to see you. Mommy, Daddy and Sissy can’t wait to celebrate with you in person for the first time someday Bubby! We love you forever!

💚HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY LINCOLN 💚

For all the Moms and Dads

emptyswing

 

For all the Moms and Dads who have a child missing from the “first day of school” photos.

You are not forgotten.

The barrage of photos on my Facebook hit me harder than I imagined they would this year. Please don’t misunderstand. I enjoyed seeing the photos. I even liked and loved many of them! Especially my family and friend’s little ones! I’ve just been wishing in my momma heart that I could have taken one too.

You see, my own son would be in preschool this year. We should haven been buying school clothes, supplies. Picking out a backpack. What would he have chosen? Cars? Dinosaurs? These are the things I ponder when I see the back to school displays. What would he have wanted? What would have been his favorite color? I have ideas in my head of what he might have liked, what clothes he might have worn, but these are just thoughts in my mind… thoughts that aren’t often shared.

Grief is funny in that you can’t predict when it will rear it’s head. When it will drop in suddenly and unannounced. It might be a daily activity you’ve done a million times, but suddenly it triggers a memory and then “oh, it’s you again.” The unwelcome guest who has taken up a permanent residence. Sometime’s it’s just a tugging and other times leaves you breathless with tears, but you can’t ever be ready for when it will strike.

What I’ve learned through my own personal grief is to take this unwelcome resident  and embrace it. Don’t fight it or push it away. It’s not going anywhere after all, so we may as well learn to live together. Because what I’ve found is that sometimes this grief brings up very painful memories. But other times, it brings forth funny memories, happy memories, and memories where there is so much love bursting through, it practically leaves a glow in my heart.

So while this unwelcome guest, turned unwelcome resident, turned almost “partner,” and I had a very rocky start, we’ve learned to live together. I might feel terrible while bawling my eyes out, but I honestly do feel better after. I’ve learned that grief is a form of love, and having an outlet to express that love helps me get through all the other days.

So to all the other Moms and Dads out there who should have a child starting preschool, middle school, high school, college… you are not forgotten.

Sending so much love your way.

 

 

 

 

Lincoln’s 4th Birthday

Dear Lincoln,

You are the most special little boy Mommy and Daddy could have ever asked for! We visited you and decorated your grave with pretty new flowers for your birthday. Daddy found the big green ones 🙂 We talked to you about your new little sister who is coming, but we know you already know her, our sweet boy.

We had so much fun lighting your lanterns with Aunt Rachel, Uncle MJ, and Grandma. We saw the two shooting stars you sent as soon as all the lanterns were in the air! What a beautiful ending for your birthday, to see the dark sky lit up with symbols of our love for you, and a celebration of your life. We miss you so much Linky… We will all be together as a family again soon. Until then, we will keep celebrating you everyday of our lives.

Love you forever,

Mommy and Daddy

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New flowers for Bubby’s birthday

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Mommy and Aunt Rachel getting the lanterns ready!

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Daddy and Mommy getting ready to launch a lantern!

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Mommy launching her lantern!

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There goes Daddy’s!

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Beautiful!

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We love you Lincoln! Happy 4th Birthday!

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Lincoln’s Memory Tree at Grandma and Grandpa’s house

Part 2 – First Day

2 Samuel 22:19
They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.

That first day at Riley was such a blur. All kinds of specialists coming to look at Lincoln and talk to us. At one point they came in and covered his head in little electrodes to check his brain activity. They talked about scheduling him for an MRI that night. They said that Marion General Hospital had sent a lot of great records along with the flight team. They had done a CAT scan before the helicopter arrived and the doctors told us that they wanted to talk to us about what was happening. At this time our families had arrived and were waiting in the PICU waiting room, though we hadn’t actually seen them yet.

The doctors led us down the hall from the PICU where there were a lot of closed doors. They opened one and led us into a room with office furniture style couches and chairs. There were no windows in the room and I started to feel incredibly nervous. We all sat down and one of the lead PICU doctors, Dr. Hoskins, began to speak to us. I remember one of the very first things she said… “we don’t know that your son is going to survive this.” I immediately went into shock. If you have ever been in a car wreck, the way I felt was like the feeling you have right before the impact… except there isn’t one so the feeling just stays and stays. Dr. Hoskins went on to say that if Lincoln did survive they didn’t know if he would ever breathe on his own, eat on his own, be potty trained, or the even know that Jeremy and I were his parents. That moment in that small cage of a room was absolutely horrific.

Another doctor, Dr Brault, started telling us that she had looked at the CAT scan from MGH and it appeared that Lincoln had several stokes that night, before the seizure had begun, and they had left a lot of damage. There were black spots all over his brain, including the brain stem, which controls so many of our basic functions, which is what lead them to believe what they did about his prognosis. Many of the doctors were crying as they relayed this information, including my husband, but I couldn’t shed a tear. I could not believe they were talking about my sweet boy… just a few hours ago we were cuddling together in our bed at home, safe and sound.

Dr. Hoskins asked what we wanted as far as care, and Jeremy said that there was no question, “that is my son, do what you have to.” Jeremy asked if we could be alone and they left us to absorb the information we had received. We hugged and cried so hard… Jeremy asked if I would pray and I begged God to please prove the doctors wrong.

The social worker who had been in the room with us had waited outside the door incase we needed anything, and Jeremy asked if she would get our family… I remember telling our family about finding out we were pregnant. They were so excited! My mom screamed and my dad cried. My sister immediately wanted to start knitting something for the baby. Jeremy had been an uncle for years and now the role was reversing and his brother would be the uncle. We couldn’t wait to be parents and start our own family.

So Excited!

So Excited!

How different this news would be to deliver… our parents, siblings, and Jeremy’s grandpa filed into the room, and we all broke down as Jeremy relayed the news from the doctors. Our little Bubby, who had brought such amazing joy into our lives, might be taken away.

After all that information I just wanted to go back to the PICU and see Lincoln. They were getting ready to take all the electrodes off of his head so he could go down for the MRI. They had seen some good activity that confirmed he wasn’t brain-dead, which was a huge relief, but they wanted to further confirm the results of the CAT scan. We walked by Lincoln’s bed as it was wheeled to Radiology. No one else was in the waiting room as we waited for the scan to be completed. After it was over we went back to his room and the nurse told us that they had gotten us a room down stairs, and Lincoln was stable right now so we should get some sleep since we had been up since 2:30am. We reluctantly agreed. I really wanted to stay with Lincoln, but everyone agreed that tomorrow would be better if we were rested. So we kissed our little Bubby goodnight and went down to our room.

Hooked up to so many machines

Head still red from the electrodes

As we collapsed onto the bed I began to sob… how could this be happening? Little babies aren’t supposed to have strokes! There really isn’t any other way to say it, we just begged and begged God over and over to heal our son, until finally, we gave into sleep.