***I am not a fan of pt.1, pt.2, pt.3 blog posts, but the way my life is going right now it's that or nothing! So pt. 1 of Eli. . . .
I want to capture all of these shining moments. . .
so much beauty and so many tears. . .
laughter that these walls haven't heard for so, so long;
deeper grief over the little man who completes our family circle. . . yet isn't here to share all of this joy.
more questions from our kids.
my heart thudding to a stop as I peek at my precious Eli, sleeping, my hand reaching out. . . and tears and limp relief to feel that warmth, that tiny beating pulse. Thank You, God. God, let him live.
Jacob, holding a pacifier up to his chest: "Hey, Mom, if I hold the fass-i-pier right *here* Eli seems to like it a lot better!"
Cambria: "So was he crying when he came out of your belly button?"
When I knew we had to leave for the hospital. . . I wasn't ready. . . wasn't prepared for the emotions. I hadn't been to Gabe's grave to tell my baby that he would still be my baby, that I wouldn't forget him. I'd planned to go on Friday; the irony of October 15 as Eli's induction date and the cemetery cleanup day wasn't lost on me. How strange and twisted life can be.
My heart - breaking to take away the little special things that mark one son's life here;
The same heart - singing to welcome the precious unborn son inside of me.
But it was Thursday.
I hadn't even packed the kids yet.
I was in the middle of painting a verse above Eli's bed.
And in the middle of chicken enchiladas.
And (using my friend Pam's Cricut) putting a huge READ sign in the upstairs hallway. I had the R up.
I hadn't colored my hair yet (pre-labor ritual for me) or packed myself, or burned our baby #4 playlist.
But sometimes babies don't wait for all of the checks to be marked in the boxes.
I called Daniel, and he came home to me distractedly tying up the loose ends of my multitasking.
"Why in the world are you making *chicken enchiladas* when you've called me home so that we can go to the hospital?!"
Well, I don't know, I guess it was all out on the counter and I didn't want it to spoil? Side note: We ate them four days later. Worst enchiladas EVER. I'm not sure how I ruined them in my distraction, but I did.
We stopped at our little man's grave.
I stood there, looking at his tiny grave, at his beautiful name, Gabriel James, remembering his tiny first cries and the joy he brought to our lives. I would never forget him; yet as soon as I left I knew that my grief road would branch. . . Gabe would be a big brother. He wouldn't be the baby.
I wept for how cruel and wrong the picture seemed. I wept for the little man I would never hold again. . . here.
The kids left tiny pumpkins.
I blew kisses to him.
Took a deep breath. . .
then we drove away.