112

*This post originally penned 9/14/17*

Dear Carter,
Today, it’s been 112 days since you left. 112 days since I held you. 112 days since I saw your face. 112 days since I kissed you.

Today, you’ve been gone longer than you were here.

Today is a hard day.

Today, I miss you just as much as I did the day you died. Today, I love you more than I ever have. Today, I cried a thousand more tears into the ocean-full I’ve already cried. Today, my heart is just as broken as it was when the doctor said, “He’s gone.”

And yet.

Today, I have fingernails for the first time in months. Anyone who knows your mom knows that my fingernails are an accurate barometer of my current stress level. Acute and extreme stress result in immediate gnawing and ripping right down to the quick. So I must be at least a little less stressed than I have been.

Today, I am more in love with your dad than I have ever been. He continues to be my rock and my shelter, my refuge and my true north.

Today, I am more compassionate, empathetic, and patient.

Today, I truly understand that “the greatest of these is love.”

Sweet baby, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it weren’t for you. And I thank you for how you’ve changed me.

I’ll close with the lyrics to a song performed by the group Selah. Their lead singer and his wife learned that their fourth daughter had “conditions incompatible with life” while she was still in the womb. They chose to carry her for as long as she lived, and if she lived to delivery, to love her and cherish her until she took her last breath. Even if I had known you would die, even if I could see the pain that was coming my way, just like the Smiths, I would have chosen life for you. Because your short life changed mine irrevocably. My 111 days with you are and will always be one of my life’s greatest blessings.

Here are the words to Audrey’s Song (I’ve changed the pronouns to make it reflect how I sing it to you):

There were photographs I wanted to take,
Things I wanted to show you.
Sing sweet lullabies
Wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave, but I’m not.
Truth is, I’m barely hanging on.
But there’s a greater story,
Written long before me,
Because He loves you like this.

I will carry you while your heart beats here.
Long beyond the empty cradle,
Through the coming years.
I will carry you all my life.
I will praise the One who’s chosen me to carry you.

Such a short time,
Such a long road.
All this madness but I know that the silence has brought me to His voice
And He says,

I’ve shown him photographs of time beginning,
Walked him through the parted sea.
Angel lullabies
No more teary eyes
Who could love him like this?

I will carry you while your heart beats here.
Long beyond the empty cradle,
Through the coming years.
I will carry you all my life.
I will praise the One who’s chosen me to carry you.

I kiss you.

Love you forever,

Mommy

 

 

 

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