What I Wish I Could Tell You

My Dear Levi,

As I type this, we are only a few days shy of your seven-month heaven birthday, and we will be plummeting into a new year on the calendar in less than 28 hours.

This is the first time I have ever approached a new year with dread and trepidation. The reasons for this don't all have a lot of logic behind them.

Levi shows off a new sweater he got for his 3rd birthday. Photo taken 2015/04/27.

Since you left us, I have held onto all kinds of weird reminders of you--the garbage bag in the van that holds the banana peel from the banana you ate the day before you died; a stray sock that somehow found its way into the laundry weeks after you died; the hat and mittens I made you; your favourite cars and trucks and trains; the blankets that I used to rock you to sleep in when you needed help having a nap--they still smell a little bit like you, but the aroma is fading too quickly. Everything that I have to let go of seems like a scab has been ripped off of the wound, and that includes the year 2015. Because every second that goes by means one more second that we have had to live without you.

I can't tell you how many things I wish you could have done with us this year, or how many things I wanted to show you. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to hold you close or hear your laugh. I can't tell you how broken I feel without you here.

I learned so much from being your mama. And by God's grace, I am learning still, even though I don't get to mother you any more.

While you were here, your strong will taught me patience. The way you joined two families taught me how to love better. Adding you to our family showed me that I had more love to give than I even realized.

My life had reshaped itself around you. You were the reason for so much joy and love and frustration and worry. In short, you were our child, and we couldn't ever imagine life without you.

But then we had to.

Captain Levi Hook--cutest pirate ever! Photo taken 2015/05/25.

Since you left, I have realized that hearts can keep growing, if we let them. Losing you has given me a capacity to love that I didn't know a human could possess. My heart is more tender and broken than ever, which allows me to have compassion for others in a way I never did before.

At the same time, being a survivor of child loss has helped me to become stronger than ever. But it's not my strength--I rely on my heavenly Father more than I ever have before. And his strength is healing me into a better person. From the most broken place of my life he is healing me into someone more whole. In his hands, scars become part of a beautiful design. Only he can do something that magical.

You had no fear, Levi. But now, looking forward, I am afraid of having to step over the threshold of a new year. I am afraid that the new one might be worse than the old. It might be harder. I no longer live under the illusion that these things only happen to other people. And if I lost one child, I could lose more.

If you were here, you wouldn't be afraid. You would be running into the new year head-on, arms-wide-open, head-thrown-back-laughing excited. I hope to one day regain that kind of joy and excitement for the future--but that moment has not yet come.

To Infinity and Beyond! Photo taken 2015/04/04.

I have learned many hard lessons this year, but when they are boiled down to their essence, most of them are about love. I've never had a piece of my heart in heaven before--maybe that's how God made my heart so big. It holds more now, but at the same time I am more able to recognize what true love is.

Thank you, Levi, for the many gifts you have given me by being part of our family. I miss you every moment of every day. I will always treasure the memories and love you gave us.

While I won't be stepping boldly into the future anytime soon, every step forward I take I will carry you with me.

Love you always and forever,

Mommy.

Baby Take Your Bow

Words and music by Chris Rice

We're gonna miss your song and dance
The way you made us laugh
And we're so glad we had the pleasure for awhile
But on the other side, you'll find a better audience
Just be yourself and you can't help but make the angels smile

Baby all the world's a stage
Playwright pens your final page
And then he brings your curtain down
So blow us your kisses and drench our eyes
We'll rise to our feet to wave goodbye for now
So baby take a bow

The world is lovelier because you had your moment here
We could see a friend of heaven in your face
And in your song we heard the longing for a distant shore
Now your time has come to go
And so be on your way

Baby all the world's a stage
Playwright pens your final page
And then he brings your curtain down
So blow us your kisses and drench our eyes
We'll rise to our feet to wave goodbye for now
So baby take a bow
Your show is over now
It's time to lay your burdens down
So baby take your bow