Monday, January 28, 2013


Last Friday, January 25th, I got a phone call from my mom. The second she said, "I hate to tell you this over the phone" I already felt numb. She called to tell me that my baby cousin Alex had passed away that morning. Alex was 3 months old. He is the son of my cousin Aaron and his wife Amy. At this point, I'm really understanding that asking "why?" just doesn't get me anywhere. I said a week ago that I was going to start asking "for what purpose?" Well, now's my chance.

When Noah went to heaven, Aaron, Amy, and Alex along with my aunt Cindy drove down to Oklahoma from Minnesota to be at his service. Aunt Cindy had already been in OK when he passed away, but she left for MN and then came back with them. I have a loving family. Aaron was a pall bearer at Noah's service. I was so thankful for that. It meant a lot to me. I remember holding Alex at my aunt Ellen's house. That's where we all gathered usually. I held him in front of the Christmas tree so he could see the lights. It felt so good to hold him. He brought me joy when I was in so much pain. Alex was a gift to us, even though he was only here for a short time.

My heart hurts for Amy and Aaron. My prayer for them is that they would feel loved and comforted. That they would have a peace beyond all understanding. I hope they will not feel alone in their suffering. I pray that the joy and memories of Alex will help ease their pain. Every path of grief is different so I don't know exactly how they're feeling, but I can understand. I'd like to think that Noah was there to greet Alex when he got to heaven.  

Here's an interesting story. On Wednesday I wasn't feeling well and I was just sad all day. I kept thinking that I wanted to see Noah in heaven. I wanted to have a dream about him. Just to see or hear him. Well, that night as I was sleeping, I heard him say "mom, mom, mom!" I said, "what?" and then woke up. The funny thing is, I only heard it in my right ear. It felt so real, like I really heard it. It was the sweetest sound I've ever heard. It was like he was so excited to tell me something. So, you could either say that my mind was playing tricks on me or that God gave me a gift. I know which one I am going to choose. 

My friend Jenn Peacock (as Noah would always call her) had a dream about him, too. She and I were at a play. In the lobby we saw Noah sitting with a man. We were crying because we could only see them, but they couldn't see us.

The man said, "I have a gift for you."
"I LOVE gifts!" said Noah.
"This is a gift from God!"
Noah replied, "God gives the best gifts!" 
The gift was a toy truck.

As Noah was playing with the truck, another woman came up to us. Jenn was telling her to look at Noah and the man but she couldn't see them. We have our theories as to why we were the only ones in her dream to be able to see him.

Yesterday, while we were driving Theo kept asking to see Noah. We had to tell him that Noah was in heaven with God and that we couldn't go see him. Then he asked to go get Noah. I'm guessing I'm going to have to always explain this to Theo. What am I going to tell him when he gets older? Maybe I'll say that he is special because he has a big brother in heaven. Whenever he wants to tell him something, just tell him. Or, pray and ask God to tell him. I will tell Theo that God gave us Noah as a gift. A gift that we could hold and hug and see with our eyes for a short time, and then God needed him back with him. However, it's not the end because we will see him in heaven. I'll have to teach him about God and that he has a purpose for our lives here on earth, no matter how short or long it is.


Hey pal!

Theo has been missing you a lot lately. We all miss you. You are so special. I am glad that I got to hear your voice in my sleep the other night. You sounded like you had something exciting to tell me. I love you very much Noah. I bet you are having lots of fun in heaven. I think about you drawing pictures for Grandma and Grandpa. I also think about Grandma baking you chocolate chip cookies like she did when I was little. Remember when we made chocolate chip cookies together? What a wonderful memory that is for me. 

I love you. See you later, 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Feeling a Belief

I'll be honest. Almost every morning I wake up sad. If not sad, then angry or disappointed. I feel like I've been cheated out of the life that I planned. I feel like I don't want to get out of bed because there's no point. Eventually I pray. Sometimes it takes me minutes to get to this point, sometimes hours. Usually the first word of my prayer is "why?" Why are things different than the way I wanted them to be. Then, God gives me the thought of Noah being with Him. I can't get through the day without peace.

My pastor loaned me a book called Holding on to Hope by Nancy Guthrie. She lost two children to Zelleweger Syndrome. I LOVE this book. She writes about so many things that relate to me and my thoughts. A challenge she gives is not to ask God "why?" but to ask him "for what purpose?" What purpose is it that He allowed my son to die? The disciples ask Jesus this question in John 9:2-3; "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus responds with, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." I've seen some of the works already. God will be glorified, that's what Jesus said. I will always struggle with the reason it had to happen this way, though. Just being honest. However,instead of demanding that He owes me an answer, I will learn to trust him. This will be a process.

I have this strong desire to think about heaven a lot. I believe that Noah is there and now I have this need to know more about it. Perhaps that is another purpose of loss. A piece of me is in heaven. Just think about this life on earth. It's only one part of our eternity. Choosing the gift that God has given by having a personal relationship with Jesus and believing that his death erased our sins will give you eternal life. So this life we have now is merely a speck comparatively. 

Some of you have heard this story before, but I'm going to share it again. The night before Noah's funeral in Oklahoma, Steven and I were the first to go to the viewing. When we pulled up to funeral home, neither of us wanted to go in. Before we got out of the car, Steven prayed that God would show us the Noah that was in heaven, not the body that was left behind.  He also prayed for a peace beyond all understanding. I thought we were going to talk to the director for a bit first, but he ushered us in to see our son in a casket instead. I was NOT prepared for that. I really don't think I would have ever been prepared. I had planned to say what I wanted to say to Noah, but I couldn't. The body was not Noah. I actually said that out loud. My pastor's wife told me she felt the same way when her daughter went to heaven. Yes, that body was the body God created for my son, but his soul is in heaven. My friend Melissa had printed a picture of Noah that was set up on an easel next to him. I had to say what I was going to say to that picture. That was the image of Noah I wanted to remember. After the viewing Steven and I just looked at each other and knew we were both thinking the same thing.  We had a peace, and we didn't understand. See, all you have to do is ask.

"There is no tragedy in being ushered quickly from this life to the next when that next life is in the presence of God." -Nancy Guthrie

I may feel sad and depressed at times, but my belief that Noah is in heaven and I will one day see him again helps those feelings turn to peace.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Blessings and a Birthday

The first night we came back from Oklahoma without Noah was more traumatic than what I thought it was going to be. Walking in the front door and seeing one of his favorite stuffed animals came with a wave of intense sadness. The first thing I did was gather up all of his drawings I could find so they would not get lost. Most of them are now in my scrapbook and four are hanging on the wall in frames. There's also a get well card he made me on the refrigerator. The next hurdle was going into his room. While my good friend Jenn stayed downstairs with Theo, Steven and I went upstairs with a box of kleenex. I thought walking in the front door was hard, this was even harder. I immediately lost control. All I could do was lay on his bed sobbing and saying his name over and over again. After gaining our composure, we straightened his toys and put his home depot projects and favorite action heroes on his book shelf, where they would be safe. Later that night it was time to give Theo a bath. I knew this was going to be hard. They always took one together. I got Theo in the bath and then started to cry. I had to turn away so he wouldn't see me. Then, Theo said something I will never forget. "What's wrong Mom? You so sad." This wasn't something I would expect him to say. He hadn't talked in completely sentences very often before that. My answer was that I missed Noah. Theo has been a great blessing to us. His silly antics make me laugh. My fear is that I will always be sad and he will have to grow up with that. I pray that God will give me joy and I will be able to give Theo the best childhood he could have, even though his brother will not be here.

One day last week I decided to take down the tree that Noah had helped me decorate along with all of the other Christmas decor. I did great while I packed everything away. I made sure all of his ornaments were safely wrapped and tucked away in the box. Eventually it was time for Theo to take a nap. After putting him in bed, I went in to Noah's room and just cried. I remember crying out to God and saying that I just want to see Noah's face. I want to know what he's doing. Once I got through that episode, I decided to rearrange the living room furniture. This is what I found under the couch after I moved it:

It's a picture that Noah drew of him in front of a rainbow. I had never seen it before. When I found it, I said, "Thanks God!" Another blessing from Him on a sad day. It's amazing how He provides little pieces of comfort.

Yesterday was Noah's birthday. He would have been 6 years old. I thought about the day he was born. The doctors had to take him away quickly because he needed oxygen but brought him back as soon as they could. I will never forget the first time I saw him. I looked into his face and immediately fell in love. The only thing I could touch was his hand. His tiny little hand. I wasn't even allowed to hold him because he was so fragile. He could only stay for a second because he had to be intubated. We prayed not only for his life, but that he would have a good quality of life. The doctors had told us a week before that there was a chance that he would not have a good quality life because he was going to be so premature. They even asked if we wanted them to help him survive. There really was no hesitation to our answer. If we would have said no, we would not have known him. A few days after he went to heaven, Steven told me that maybe God had answered our prayers back then and then allowed him to live for as long as he could for a purpose. Maybe God saved his life so that he could bring glory to Him with his story. I know he definitely changed my life. 

Dear Noah, 

Happy Birthday! What did you think of your birthday in heaven? I hope you had a great celebration. We did a few things to celebrate here. 

Amy Clark (Jack and Aiden's mom) made your friends buttons to wear on special occasions  Daddy and I wore them, too. It says, "Remembering Noah. A friend forever." Lots of people at church wore them. After church we went to Baja Fresh.

We also sent you some balloons. They didn't have Power Rangers, so I had to settle for Spider Man.

I got some orange flowers to put in the kitchen. 

Uncle Marvin and Aunt Mickey asked if there was anything I wanted them to get for you. This is what I asked for. They also brought you some things. Stephenie and Dan (Rachel and Sam's parents) brought you a balloon. Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Ellen have also been to visit and bring flowers. 

I love you so much Noah and I miss you every day. I remember the sound of your voice when you said, "I love you Mommy." I will never forget that. You are such a blessing to me. 

See you later, 


Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Reality

"Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy." John 16:20 NIV

Jesus was explaining to his disciples that they would weep about His death while the world rejoiced. This is sometimes how I feel about Noah's death. Death. That is still a hard word for me to say. I don't feel like he is dead. My reality is that I am a mother of two boys--one is here on earth and the other is in heaven. On occasion this makes me feel like a misfit. I feel like the world is happy and going about daily business while I am remembering my son. I can only remember because I will not hear, see, or touch him in this lifetime. Life seems so complicated at times that I feel like I will never be able to think clearly. At other times it's so simple; Noah is heaven and is happy and that gives me joy. I don't personally know very many people who can say that their child is in the presence of the King. What greater place could there be? This must be the grief turning to joy part.

Another reality I'm facing is feeling that some people just don't know what to say to me so they don't say anything at all. That's perfectly ok, most of the time. Perhaps they are afraid that they would say the wrong thing. To tell you the truth, I completely understand. I'd probably be the same way. Maybe I give off the impression that I don't want to talk. Well, sometimes I really don't want to talk. I just want to be quiet and reflect or process things. Other times I do want to talk. I want to talk about Noah. I want to talk about how I'm feeling that day, what I'm missing about him. Hearing stories about him brings a smile to my face. A friend from church sent me a card this week and in it she wrote a story of how Noah loved his new coat and that it had pockets on the inside as well as the outside. That made me laugh because it was so true. He was so happy about the little things.


Hey pal. I miss you. You've been in heaven for 5 weeks, our time. We would have been planning your big carnival birthday bash now. I imagine we would be shopping for the decorations and putting the favor bags together. 

Theo has been playing with trains and cars a lot. He sure misses his partner, though. I have to fill in for you. I'm pretty sure I'm not as fun as you, but I'll do my best. 

I talk to God about you every single day.  I ask Him to tell you just how much I love you. 

I do love you my son.

See you later,