Happy 8th Birthday Kross

Today you would have been 8 years old and in 2nd grade.  You would have been finding your own personality amongst the Swindles.  I can’t tell you how much it still hurts not having you here with the family, but I understand that you had to go.  I know that you were meant to be delivered straight into the arms of God.  For so many years I have imagined you as that infant in my arms….waiting for you to breath…waiting for your eyes to open…waiting for a sound, a whimper, a cry…but you wouldn’t be that little baby anymore.  I don’t know which is worse…imagining you that way…or allowing myself to think about who you would have been now and what you would be doing.  I know that we parents of sleeping babies know that time passes and the earth still turns after you have left us, but that really doesn’t compute somehow.  It doesn’t make sense to our heart.  Logically we know that time stops for no one, but I can tell you that in a single second…a half of a second…a blink of an eye…I was forever changed.  My life, my family’s life, my world would never be the same.  It would be as it was intended, but not the same.  I know that all things in God’s plan have an appointed reason.  I understand that bad things happen to good people sometimes, but for some reason I just didn’t think the horrible, awful, horrendous, hurtful, soul killer of a thing would happen to you, me, daddy, your brothers, our family.  I have grown since that day.  I have tamed my emotions on the outside.  I have learned to walk in glory and peace in front of the outside world.  I have learned to smile through the shame of failing at healing…true healing.  I move onward, forward, prayerful, hopeful, but I just don’t know if the pain of losing you will ever be metered.  I can’t imagine this day ever coming and we won’t feel that sickness that lives way down deep where no one can ever reach it to pluck it out.  I know that my thoughts will always turn to you when I hear a baby cry, catch a whiff of that wonderful infant smell, hold someone else’s baby for the first time.  I know that there is a piece of me that will never be alive and a part of my world…that piece abides with heaven and what is left of its shell sits upon my dresser with a picture.  I love you baby.  Daddy loves you.  Know that you are loved and will be loved until we see you again baby.  Happy Birthday.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Hello my baby boy.  I was unable to post on Christmas due to server issues, but I am now able to make my post.  I know that it must have been beautiful where you are over the last several weeks.  Things have been hectic here as usual.  The holiday was lit with Christmas lights and all of the ornaments full of memories.  Your brothers had a great holiday.  Your name was of course mentioned and moments were taken as thoughts of you and what could of been entered the room.  I continue to grow…I continue to experience…I continue…I love you so much and still miss you just as much as the day you left.  I know that it should have lessened and maybe I just want let it lessen…mentally or emotionally…but I just don’t know how to do either.  It was such a hard year on my heart.  I thought so much of you and felt over saddened this year…I know that one day that sadness will all be a memory and we will all be reunited, but until then I will be…I will be settled with who and where I am…I will be a mom to your brothers, a wife to your dad, and all the other things that I am called to be…Happy New Year Baby…I pray that 2016 will be a little easier…for me and even brighter for you…

Happy 6th Birthday Baby.

Happy Birthday my dearest Kross.  We just returned from releasing your balloons and a family meal.  This day is always so filled with mixed emotions for me.  I want to remember you on this special day, but deep down inside sometimes I wish I could forget.  I know that is bad for me to say, but it is my truth.  My heart still aches for you.  I somehow thought that the ache would get better, but it doesn’t seem to have done so.  Today was one of the worst birthdays that I have experienced since that first loss.  Today you would have started kindergarten.  I had to work in the schools this morning and when I saw all of those kids beginning their new year I was devastated.  I tried to imagine you on your first day, but I couldn’t do it.  I just couldn’t see it, because you would never have a first day…you would never have a first anything.  That thought devastated me.  I love you so very much and I wouldn’t take anything for our 9 months together, but I keep praying that one day I will be able to focus on our afterlife together and the good times that we had planning for you.  I miss you so much and I hope that you know that you are still in my thoughts everyday.  I will never let your name go unspoken, or your memory go stale.  Love you Mommy, daddy, Braeden, and Gunner.

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas my love.  How beautiful the day has been.  My thoughts have traveled to you often today.  Your sweet round face, your tiny hands, the weight of your body in my arms.  Then of course the bad thoughts come rushing in…flooding my thoughts with pain, tears, an utter feeling of helplessness.  I want to say that it was a perfect day, but I fear that will never be true.  It was a very nice day.  I saw your brothers experience joy, excitement, love, thankfulness, and family time…and all of those things were amazing for a mother to experience.  I do acknowledge that.  I am blessed every day, every moment I get to spend with your brothers and dad.  I miss all of those moments that I will never get to experience with you.  I love you baby and still miss you terribly…yet I rejoice for the blessing, the gift you received in returning home to God.  Your ornament from Mamaw was perfect this year.  It was a little baby sleeping and had a beautiful poem on it.  Be well my love…

Happy Birthday number 5.

Well we did it Kross.  We made it through another birthday.  I felt your presence throughout the day.  I felt the presence of family and friends all around me as well.  Their silent prayers, hugs, and words or comfort surrounded me, your dad, and brothers.  I can only imagine that today was a beautiful celebration for you today.  The day that you entered into the kingdom of Heaven.  The day that you returned to the arms of God.  I wish that I could say that time had somehow healed the wound left behind…that it had somehow closed up…grown back together in some way…but I can’t say that.  It is still there…gaping…yearning…empty…questioning…heaving…screaming…writhing…beckoning…but I will say this.  The tears of course have slowed.  The realization that no matter how many of them fall that I can’t change the past….the realization that I can’t speed any faster towards our reunion…the knowledge that I have work to do that has all combined to make the replacement me…the person that stands in for the me I used to be.  I feel guilty sometimes for dwelling in this past…for feeling anchored…but then again I feel horrible for feeling that way about the moments I had with you.  Kross, what I can say is that I move.  I move forward.  I move on.  I am watching your brothers grow and become fine young men.  I think of what you would become and for a moment I mourn that, but then I try to believe that you left something with your brothers that they will use to move forward and grow with in their lives….the knowledge that life is fleeting and we have to cherish it…the idea that we all make an impact on the world no matter how small or limited our time here…and that loves goes on beyond our bodies and time…Happy birthday my love.  I miss you.  I still want you.  I dream of you.  Gunner said he loves you and he wishes you were alive so that he could be your big brother.  Braeden says have fun up there in Heaven with Steve and Basa.  He loves you.  Daddy says he loves you so much.  From our hearts to yours.  For always and forever Kross our hearts…..XXXXXXX0000000000  I also wanted to add that your daddy was interested in tracking our birthday surprises so I am going to list them starting now.

Year One: Paid for a woman’s merchandise that had a newborn at Walmart.

Year Two: Tipped our waitress a 100 dollar tip at Steak and Shake

Year Three: Tipped our waitress a 100 dollar tip at Carrabas

Year Four: Tipped our waiter a 100 dollar tip at Steak and Shake

Year 5: Tipped Ian at Red Lobster a 100 dollars. He asked us to repeat your name so that he could tell others.

And so it begins again…

So the inevitable march begins.  I can feel it in every ounce of my being…the impending storm that lies ahead.  Memories, tears, hurt, pain, emptiness, longing, questions, shattered dreams, brokenness.  I miss you.  It has been so long since I’ve written anything on the blog.  So much has happened, so much to say and yet so little that I can say.  Life has continued on, but there is that huge piece of me that is stuck…that piece that refuses to move forward that against all things will not march on with life.  It waits…it remains…it aches…it sits there at the doors of that hospital waiting to be handed a baby so that it can be wheeled out of that hospital with hopes and dreams instead of nightmares and shattered wishes.  I often go back there to that day and try to imagine what would of happened had things been different, but I just can’t.  I have been doing much better.  I can acknowledge that.  But there are still those times when it all seems so very wrong.  I don’t think it will ever be truly right ever again.  I love you…and so it begins…August the 4th is coming…I can feel it…my heart knows…my mind senses…my body aches…something is missing…

Growing Stronger

My dearest Kross,

Today I prayed for a child that was to enter the world with special needs to enter safely and for God to lift up her parents.  I learned at the end of the day that little Gracie had joined you and so many others in Heaven.  I didn’t cry Kross.  I actually thought of how can I make this better for this new Sister in Sorrow…the mommy with empty arms…I hurt for her…and was able to do so without it activating horrible agonizing pain for myself.  Your mom is growing so much stronger.  I love you baby.  I’m healing.  God is working.  I love you.

2014 Happy New Year

Another new year is upon us Kross.  So much has changed, while so much has stayed the same.  I told myself last year that I was going to try my best to do better, better, focus on the journey and not the destination.  I have tried to do this often over the last year I have been successful sometimes, yet not so successful other times.  I know that I still miss you just as much as the day I found out that you had left me, but I can say that I can now talk about you without crying.  I can share my story with others and discuss the lessons that I took away from it without wanting to curl up and disappear.  So, I am claiming my victory.  I’m growing.  Mommy is learning, growing, moving forward, and praying that tomorrow will continue to bring movement forward.  I now know that I can look back without having to live there and that I can step forward without having to forget the steps it took to get where I’m at.  I love you to the moon and back.  It is well love.  It is well.

Merry Christmas my sweet love…

Merry Christmas baby.  This night  is bittersweet for me.  I look at your brothers, their faces, the anticipation, the hope the excitement and I feel a warmth in my heart…but since that day 4 and 1/2  years ago that warmth is somewhat dampened by a cold place that resides there permanently.  It is the place that was left void and twisted when my heart was broken after losing you.  I want to be happy, I want to love and laugh and dream and celebrate, but their is always a piece of me Kross that just can’t.  I feel selfish, I feel childish, I feel like a bad mother to both your brothers and you.  I should be thankful that you got to go straight to heaven without having to endure the pain of this world…I should be thankful that I have to happy healthy boys with me here now…I should not dwell on what is not and what cannot be changed…but alas that part deep down inside of my heart always does.  It sneaks up on me.  When I hear your daddy reading the story of the first Christmas and Jesus’s birth…and he looks up and says, “Mary counted all of his fingers and toes to make sure there were 10…all mothers do that”….then I am instantly drawn back to the fact that I couldn’t count your fingers and toes because daddy wouldn’t let me he thought it would be too upsetting.  It’s funny the things you don’t think about until you do and then it is like someone just dropped a 100 pound weight on your chest.  But I digress…I am drawn back to a pleasant thought for the end of my post to you on this 4th Christmas night without you…it would have been a great Christmas year to spend with you….the story I wrote about the my first Christmas without you.  “The Gift”…I wrote of a present you would receive from Jesus on this most special night of his birthday…and how that present would share all of the beautiful words and thoughts from the family that missed you and when you opened it you could hear all of their voices saying the things you would never hear in person, so hear goes….Mommy loves you Kross.  You had a beautiful soul.  I miss you baby.  I miss all that you were and all that you were going to be.  I am so proud of you.  You are exactly what I prayed for.  You bring me such joy.  You are a gift from God. You give the best love.  I need some mommy time.  Don’t ever change who you are.  Know that I will always love you.  Mommy will be home one day and you will be the first person I find.  Your brothers miss you.  They ache to know you. They love you.  Your father loves you and misses you so very much.  Kross the Swindle family will never be complete until we are all reunited.  Merry Christmas Love….

Where we’re going and where we’ve been…

Random thoughts of you…missing you…thinking of what you would be like now…but….I have to say that the other day I was able to talk about you without crying or without wanting to cry.  I was able to discuss what we went through…what it meant…and how it has changed us as a family.  That’s big Kross.  I have been so focused on where I need to be not really focused on the journey rather the destination…maybe that was a mistake.  Maybe embracing the journey as a means to the destination is what I needed to do.  I love you baby.  I made progress.  I’m proud of myself.