When you can’t be with the one you love

 

I thought I knew how much I loved Lincoln while he was here. I would’ve done anything for my boy. At Riley all I could think when I saw that sweet little baby in that hospital bed, I would’ve given anything to trade places with him. I absolutely would have died for him so that he could live.

What I didn’t understand at that time was that while he was here, at least I could still show him affection; I could still hold his hand, and kiss his face. I could lay my head down beside his on the little hospital bed because I knew our connection was so much more deeper than him needing to be awake to know I was there; our souls were connected because he was my baby. I knew that if I was close to him he  would know his mommy was there.

I still have so much love for Lincoln in my heart, but there is no release of giving him the love daily. Instead it builds up, builds up and builds up until  it feels like my heart is going to burst. That is part of what makes the pain and grief so incredibly hard. Loss mommies have to find other ways to show their babies love once they’re not there for you to physically give it to them. You have to find a release.

This is why I write. This is why we have our charity Lincoln’s Hope in his memory. This is why we have golf scrambles and walks and sell T-shirts. This is why we do things like visit his grave and set off lanterns and balloons and light candles. Anything we can possibly do to get some relief from the built up love we have in our hearts.

This is also one of the ways I have found some healing. The love that pours out of a grieving parent’s heart is powerful enough to change the world. That is the legacy my son has left behind. A legacy of love. God is using the love that we have for our son to make a difference in the world. Through our love for Lincoln we are able to show others the love that God has for that them.

So while this isn’t the life I would have ever in 1 million years have chosen I am so proud of my son and what he was able to accomplish during his short life. I don’t know how I could be a prouder mom of my first born. He has forever changed my heart, and this world, for the better.

 

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