Thursday, June 27, 2013

one month

Today marks a month since we had to say see you later to Sawyer. I think I am finally out of the 'shock/denial' stage of grief and have entered full-swing in to the 'anger' stage. I am still working on how to deal with all of this. For those of you who are friends with me on my personal page this will seem somewhat repetitive but I haven't blogged lately and I want to write down what has happened this last week. 

I spend a lot of my time thinking about Sawyer. Thinking about all the things I was able to do with him and, like I have said before, the things that I will never get to do with him. My family has always taken a beach trip every year to the same place - St. Augustine. I was excited when we found out we were expecting that I would be able to take my baby to the beach this year. Reality has started to sink in that I won't be taking Sawyer with me. I don't have to go on this trip, but my parents have offered to take Josh and I as another source of relaxation as our grief and emotions are still very real and very painful. I do know that if I choose to wait and put it off it will make it that much harder next year. I am going to fight through these emotions and try to spend some time with family and cherish the moments, but I know it will be hard to be there without Sawyer. 

I said last week that I was able to decorate Sawyer's grave and he is all ready for July 4th! I added a sunflower this week, and a special heart balloon. I also went to read him a story. Here is the post from my Facebook page:
"I went to visit Sawyer today. took the book "On the Night You Were Born" and read it to Sawyer. The last page says "Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born." And the opposite page has two giraffes. what a perfect book for my sweet boy. I took him a heart balloon last night and this afternoon it was blowing all around my face. I know Sawyer was there with me, listening to his mommy read him a book. I desperately wish he was here physically, but I am so thankful he is happy and healed with Jesus."

Right before I went to go see Sawyer I had stopped by the house to pick up the book and check the mail (my least favorite thing to do these days). Luckily there weren't any bills, but there was a card. Let me start by saying that whoever notifies third party organizations about my baby's birth should really have the decency to let them know about his passing as well. Because when they don't... I get cards like this:

Luckily I was already headed to see Sawyer or this would have really sent me over the edge. I was already having a pretty crappy day so it wasn't that big of a deal to add another scoop to the bowl. I know that whoever sent this card didn't know, but I REALLY REALLY wish there was a way for all parties to be notified of a baby's passing so the family doesn't have to open their mailbox to this. This is more heartbreaking than the stinking bills. 

Yesterday was my 6-week check up with Dr. Pohl, my OB. I walked in for my appointment and was greeted by a FULL waiting room. The one thing I love about Dr. Pohl is that he really cares about his patients, and sometimes that means you are seen later than your original appointment time. I checked in and took a seat amidst many, many pregnant women (really only 4 or 5) and waited to be called back. Typically waiting rooms are silent, you know - everyone just sits there all awkward-like and staring at each other... NOT this time... they all decided to get to know each other in the waiting room. Wednesdays are the days that Dr. Pohls office does the 20 week appointment and tells you the gender of your baby. Yesterday was Wednesday. Everyone in the office was told they were having a boy. I was able to handle the small talk for a few minutes, but then it just kept going and going and going. I went to ask to sit in another room or if they could call me when they were ready for me and I just lost it. They let me sit in a back room (the room I did all the NST's in when I was pregnant with Sawyer) and wait for my turn. I eventually saw Dr. Pohl and he said that every thing looks great! I have lost 30 pounds since the last time I was in his office - I had lost all my baby weight 5 days post delivery and then I'm guessing I lost the rest in the weeks after Sawyer's passing. I now officially weigh less than I did before I got pregnant! Thanking God for little blessings.

After the emotional breakdown at Dr. Pohls office I headed over to see the ladies at Dr. Videlefsky's office. (Short story - I had thought my appointment with Dr. Pohl was Tuesday, so I had stopped by Dr. V's office to say hello to them, and Dr. V popped his head out to say hello as well. They told me they had a gift for me but it wasn't done. After I realized my appointment was the next day I told them I would just come back.) I really love the office staff. They were always so friendly when I was in there for appointments when I was pregnant with Sawyer and came to check on me after delivery. A few of them, including Dr. V, were able to make it to the visitation and I was so grateful that they were there. Anywho, here is the gift they gave me... I am going to repost from my Facebook page:
"I don't know if I have ever said how much I love Dr. Videlefsky (Sawyers pediatric cardiologist) and his staff but I truly do. I stopped by their office after my emotional afternoon at Dr. Pohl's because they told me they had a gift for me. They presented me with this jar of stones. They are stones that I can take, one by one, to Sawyers grave when I go visit him. I can decorate them with different things, and they started this first one for me with the initial PCS (pediatric cardiology services). So thankful for these ladies and the blessing they are to me, especially today!"

 This is such a special gift to me and I am so happy they gave it to me! I can't wait to take them to Sawyer when I come visit, which is pretty much every day right now. I might have to get some more stones! I am not sure if I have posted this before but we are planning on doing a memory wall at our house for Sawyer - I can't wait to get started on it! 

I can't believe it has been a month since I kissed my baby one last time. I miss his smell, his soft skin, and his beautiful, big eyes. The time he has been away from us is longer than the time he was here with us. It is devastating that I cannot hold my baby. That is all that I long for these days. One month of devastating sadness, one month without him, but one month closer to being with my baby forever. I have a lot more 'months' to make it through but slowly and surely this will get easier to handle. I know it will not ever go away. To those who say time heals all wounds - that is false. Time makes it easier to handle and easier to function, but it will never heal. As I sat at his grave today I told him that he was truly a warrior and that mommy and daddy promise to share his story with all that we meet. His grave marker came in today and it looks amazing. I will post a picture once they get the tree in and get everything situated. What perfect timing that was for a day like today. It brought a smile to my face after a rather dreary morning. Another blessing that happened today? My aunt and uncle dropped off a gift card to La Cazuela so we could get out of the house for the evening and then Kathy Edwards dropped off a pecan pie! If you have had Kathy Edwards pecan pie then you know how excited I was (she and my Mawmaw make DELICIOUS pecan pies!) I am so thankful for the many people that have been a blessing in our lives these past few weeks. I have started to become more accustom to this new life I am living, even though at times I don't really like it at all. His 2 month birthday is coming up, not sure what I am going to do but we will be celebrating in some way! I am still reading through my books - those will get their own separate blog post next week some time.Thank you all for continuing to pray for our family, Josh and I are truly blessed that you are all in our lives.

Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

Here is the letter I posted to Sawyer today on my Facebook page:
"Dear Sawyer,
It's been too long since I was able to kiss your face, hold you tightly, and tell you how much I love you. I visit you a lot and will always carry you in my heart. I miss you more than words could ever describe. I think about everything I wish I could be doing with you, but I know we will be reunited one day. I'm sure you have lots of friends up there - I can't wait to meet them all! Keep watching over mommy and daddy, we love you so so much!


I have his beads of courage from Gwinnett NICU and a sunflower in my car as a constant reminder of my sweet boy. He is always in my heart and always with me wherever I go! Here are some of my favorite pictures. Wonderful, precious memories.

Seriously, have you ever seen a baby this beautiful?

I wish I could go back to this day.

Love to you all,

"Heaven and Earth may separate us today but nothing will ever change the fact that you made me a mom." <3

Friday, June 21, 2013

Life These Days

The days lately have been strange, to say the least. We never got to learn how to live life with Sawyer at home, but now I am struggling how to learn to live life without him. I am struggling with pretty much anything, from going to eat dinner to cleaning my house. I am CONSTANTLY reminded of Sawyer. This  isn't a bad thing at all, I love thinking about Sawyer and talking about him but I don't like being reminded of all of the things I will never do with him. I know that I am not suffering this alone, in fact since losing Sawyer I have become more aware of how often child loss occurs - much more frequently than ANYONE would like. We all have different amounts of time spent with our little ones and the time was all spent differently, but it doesn't make the pain any different. I read somewhere that losing a child is one of the hardest things anyone has to do in life, I would agree.

Usually I try to avoid being at home alone for extended periods of time, especially with Josh being back at work, but sometimes it is unavoidable. I have spent a lot of time with my mom or other friends, and usually I try to leave the house in the morning and come home when Josh gets home from work or right before. I have spent a lot of time visiting Sawyer's grave, the first few times were very hard. In fact, the first time I went I got "stuck" there and couldn't leave. I eventually pulled myself together and left, but I wish I could describe the pain I felt when I tried to leave. I know Sawyer's spirit isn't there and it is just his body, but I felt like I was leaving him all over again. It has gotten better now, and seems to get better the more often I go. I'm still not sure how to get past all of this, to adjust to life without my baby, and to start moving forward. I don't want to ever forget Sawyer and I know I won't, but I cannot sit out at his grave for hours every day. It wouldn't be feasible once I go back to work, and I know for a fact that Sawyer wants me to be out living life and not stuck. He is having a wonderful life with Jesus and he wants me to continue to be happy until we are reunited again. 

I have decided that I want to do the flower arrangements for his grave. It is something that I can do myself and something that is just for me and him. I am still not sure how often I will change it, but I know that every holiday will have a new arrangement, maybe a different one each month. Sawyer isn't here to celebrate these holidays with us, but this is something that helps me get through the holidays without feeling like absolute crap emotionally. I put this one up a little early, but Sawyer is ready for July 4th! We ordered the headstone last week so it should be coming in within the next 3-4 weeks. I am using this as a part of my healing process, but there are times when it still makes me very sad. I sent a text to a friend today that said "Instead of getting to celebrate the first year "monthly' milestones, I am going to the store to buy flowers for my sons grave because it is the most I will ever be able to do for him the rest of my life." That sums up how I feel about all of this at the moment.

I made this yesterday, thanks to help from my mom!

I really could spend all of my days here.

Sunflowers always remind me of Sawyer. After dinner tonight
 we took one out to the grave site.

I still don't know what I want people to say. I mean, there really isn't anything anyone can say to make this better. People ask how I am doing, and I don't know what to tell them. Every day is SO different and some are better than others, but some are much harder. I still don't think it has gotten any easier at all, but there are the days when I can cope better. Every day opens up a new emotional roller coaster but it has helped me to stay busy and occupied. Nights at home have been especially hard because the loneliness is so loud I can hear it screaming in my hear. Josh and I had to run some errands tonight and we stopped by Chili's for dinner (thanks for wonderful friends for a gift card!). As we sat there I started looking around. Almost EVERY table around us was filled with a family. There were two tables in close vicinity to us that had little babies with them. After trying to keep myself together I just let the tears flow. I felt like I had run right in to a brick wall and I just kept hitting it over and over, I couldn't turn around - I was stuck. I got up and ran to the bathroom to try and collect myself. I was then greeted by another mom and her son as she was taking him to the bathroom. I had just walked in so I was stuck standing in a stall while they had a conversation about his shoes and some other things. By that point I was shaking uncontrollably. Josh and I should be at dinner with Sawyer tonight. I should be taking him to the bathroom to change his diaper. But we aren't doing either of those things. We are sitting behind a table with blank looks on our faces as the world goes by and NO ONE knows what has happened to us. I am almost afraid for the next stranger to ask how my day is because I know they are just trying to be friendly and don't really want me to spill my life story to them. I saw our waitress go from table to table, and make small talk with the families and playfully smile at the babies and ask them silly questions. She gets to our table and is just as friendly, asking "What can I get for you two tonight?" I almost wanted to scream "THERE ARE THREE OF US, CAN'T YOU SEE?" But, just like everyone else in the restaurant they can't see. They can't see the love we have for Sawyer, they can't see the pain we are experiencing deep inside, and they also can't see Sawyer. I know he is with us everywhere we go, but only in our hearts. It isn't his physical being which I desperately long to have with me.

I stopped by Lifeway Christian stores today to try and get some books on how to handle/deal with my grief. There were a few I picked up off the shelf and purchased, but the harsh reality is that there is no "set" way to deal with grief. You just have to do it. You have to go through the hurt, the pain, and everything to get to the other side. The devil is in full force while you are grieving, too. He doesn't let up when you try to push out the negative thoughts and the questioning of God. In fact, I think it fuels his fire when we show weakness. I opened my Bible yesterday and was led to these two verses:

"The Lord gives strength to his people; The Lord blessed his people with peace" Psalm 29:11

"God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid even if the earth shakes, or the mountains fall into the sea, even if the oceans roar and foam or the mountains shake at the raging sea." Psalm 46:1-3

Even when I want to scream and yell and be completely pissed off, it is okay. God already knows every emotion I am going to experience, and He is right there to pick me up when I fall. Eventually we will get to the other side of this mountain. We will find peace in the Lord and one day we will understand His reasoning. It may not be here on Earth, but I know when we are reunited with our Savior (and Sawyer) we will be able to ask him just what His grand plans were with this terrible tragedy in our lives. I don't have all the answers, and I won't pretend that I do. I don't know why this happened to us, and I don't feel like it should have happened. What I do know is that God has promised us eternal life with Him and I know Sawyer will be there waiting for us. This life is much shorter than the promise of eternal life, MUCH shorter. Everything in my life has made it easy to praise God until now. I am reading the book "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith. Here is an excerpt that I read last night:

He gives and takes away. Have I had moments of genuine questioning where I blamed myself and anyone else I could? Yes. But when the thoughts come, and they will, we must make a choice about who we will be from this day forward. Either we will go through life as bitter servants, or we will make Him famous with our love. I want Him to be famous."

This is all too true of my current situation. Angie and her husband lost their fourth daughter as an infant to some severe birth defects. Her words throughout this book have helped me understand my emotions, that they are okay, and how to praise the Lord through this storm. Sawyer was a warrior and I know he was a warrior for the Lord. He would not want Josh and I to sit around and be bitter servants, he would want his life to be used to glorify God. We are working to pick up the pieces right now, but are working towards using Sawyer and his life for the glory of God and to tell more people about the love that God has for us. I have talked to some people who are in awe of our faith and are struggling with their own. How could we not praise the God that was so merciful to our sweet boy? God swept Sawyer up in His arms and took him home to a life of happiness and no more pain. Had Sawyer made it through the surgery and the complications afterwards there is no telling how much of a struggle his life would have been. Now he is happy, healthy and looking down on his mom and dad - and we can praise God for that. It isn't easy at times, because I would much rather have Sawyer here with us, but I know that this life is a season and we will soon be reunited with our sweet baby.   

Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

Love to all,

P.S. There is a free car wash being put on my our church at the Sam's Club in Snellville, GA tomorrow from 10 AM-6PM! Josh and I will be there from 12PM-2PM and would love to meet some of you who have followed the story of our family. All donations will go to our family to help with medical expenses! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

I have been struggling lately with what to say about Father's Day. It has brought up a lot of emotions, some much harder than others. I kind of wish this wasn't a day we celebrated (thanks, Hallmark) so I could avoid this pain all together. But it's here, and I have to deal with it.  I don't really know where to begin, or where to end so I am just going to start typing. That is how most of my posts work anyways. Happy Father's Day to my dad, Keven, Josh's dad, David, and especially to my sweet husband, Josh. I love all three of you very much!

Let me start of by saying what I am thankful for this weekend. I am so thankful for my dad and the influence he has had on my life up until now, and the influence I know he will continue to have throughout the years. His support (and my mom's) throughout this terribly tragedy has meant more to Josh and I than words could ever convey, ever. I remember a lot about my childhood, but several things stick out. When my dad would tuck me in he would tell me about how things were made. He told me about everything from ceiling fans to ice cream. As I got older we became closer and there were nights we would stay up until 5 am talking about anything and everything, but especially how we were really the only normal people in the world. He taught me to be confident in myself and to do whatever I have set my mind to do in life. I'll never forget the night Sawyer had his surgery and he had to be put on ECMO. We came out of the consultation room and I basically fell apart telling my parents what happened and my dad was the only holding me together and telling me to be strong. Dad - I am so thankful for you and everything you have done for not only me, but also Josh and Sawyer. Thank you for being the Godly influence in our home and teaching me about Christ's love for me through your actions. I know Sawyer loved his Otter Pop. I love you dad!

I am also very thankful for Josh's dad (and mom). Without either one of them I wouldn't have my wonderful husband. I know Josh's dad raised him to be a wonderful Christian man and also taught him a lot about love. I am also thankful for the relationship we have. I wasn't sure when I met him how that would work out because we literally have the same personality (loud, outspoken, and silly) but it really has been a blessing. Now when I make smart-butt comments he laughs and says "I think she likes me". It's true - I love both David and Marla more than words can convey and also am so thankful for the support they have given and continue to give through this trial in our life. David, thank you for raising such a godly man who loves me with all of his heart and teaching him to be a great father. I am so thankful for your humor and that we can be silly and cut up with each other. Thank you for being the Godly influence for Josh and showing him Christ's love through your love for him. I love you! 

Now for the hard part. This is Josh's first Father's Day, and also his first without Sawyer. I am so so so sad that this is how our life turned out like this. We go out to restaurants and no one knows that we are parents. I just want to run around screaming telling everyone what happened so they understand. No father should ever celebrate his first Father's Day while grieving the loss of the son that is no longer with him. Josh and I grieve differently - as many men and women. He is a silent griever while I like to just let all my emotions out, hence the blog. I have struggled with what to do for Father's Day. I know Josh deserves to be recognized because he is an amazing father to Sawyer, I just didn't want it to be something that made him more sad. Many of you who were at the funeral remember the words he said - the words that broke everyone's heart. I am so sad that Josh will never get to teach Sawyer to play golf, go hunting, or play baseball. These are things that some fathers take for granted - but please don't, appreciate it because some fathers, like Josh, never have the chance when they would desperately love to do those things. Josh loves Sawyer and the way he cares about him and fought for him made me love him even more. I know Sawyer knows how much his daddy loves him. I also know that Sawyer wouldn't want either of us to be sad all the time, but it is a struggle because not only am I missing the memories I will never be able to make, I am missing the ones that Josh won't be able to make either. Josh, you are an amazing husband and father. I am thankful that we have grown even closer through the midst of something that probably tears most couples apart. We will see Sawyer again and he will be his daddy's best bud. I've said it before, but I'm pretty sure there is a golf course in Heaven and Jesus is teaching Sawyer how to play right now so you can play with him once we are reunited. I love you, and Sawyer does too. 

"Happy Father's Day, daddy. I love you very much!" - Sawyer
my precious, precious family

what a wonderful memory

I have to thank my Heavenly Father for his love and mercy. It's not just this day He should be celebrated and praised, but if we are celebrating our fathers, he needs to be included. A lot of people have told me how strong we are, but this is far from the truth. The only strength we have is from Christ. We have received comfort in knowing that Sawyer and us will have eternal life with Him, which means we will see him again! This doesn't always make the pain here on Earth easier, but it helps at times. Sawyer was very, very sick and God knew it was time to take him home, to give him complete healing. We prayed for God to heal our baby, and He did. I will be the first to tell you that it was NOT the way I wanted, but it was the way God designed. God knew our lives before we were ever thought of by our parents, and He knows what the future holds for us (Jeremiah 29:11).  I am thankful for Him teaching both Josh and I more about this life we were given, and for being there for both of us through this unimaginable loss. He has never left our side, and never will - for that I am grateful.

Nothing will change what happened. I wish it would, but Sawyer is gone and we can't bring him back to earth to be here with us. I am choosing to use this trial to praise Him and try to be a source of encouragement to those who may be struggling with something similar. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV)" We may never understand the ways of The Lord and the plans He has for us here on Earth, but we are called to live by His word. It's been a struggle to trust Him, especially when I feel like Sawyer was literally ripped away from us. God has a plan, that is what I cling to for our lives. I hate when people say "you can try again" or "you will have more children" - thanks, I know that. What people don't seem to get is it doesn't matter how many more children we have, Sawyer was our first baby boy and he always will be and no future children will take away this pain or be some kind of "replacement", that isn't how it works. I know that people don't know what to say, and that whenever someone says something it is usually with the best intentions, but that is a hard one to hear because it just isn't comforting at all. I saw a quote the other day that said grief is almost like drowning, everyone else around you is continuing to breath while you are struggling for air. This is so true, it seems like everyone else has just picked up and moved on with life and we are just stuck here. We struggle through each day, especially these painful holidays, trying to figure out what "normal" even is anymore. The pain will never go away, we will just learn how to live with it. I know that all of this is being used for His glory and I am trying to keep my head up. My friend sent me this verse the other day:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18"

This is the promise we have from Christ, that because of our personal relationship with Him and believing in Him, we will see Him, and our sweet Sawyer again because what is unseen is ETERNAL. Sawyer isn't struggling anymore, God was merciful and called him home because his life here on Earth probably would have been one of suffering. Thank goodness for this promise of eternal life ("For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16) we will see our sweet baby boy again. The days will turn to weeks that will turn to years, all time passing by putting us closer to the moment we will see him again. God loves us, and you, more than anyone could EVER imagine. Romans 5:8  says "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." We have done nothing to deserve this love, yet He has given us everything. Thanking God and praising Him for all of His blessings and comfort through this trial.

Happy Father's Day to you, fathers. Be a Godly influence in your home and teach your children the love of God and show them that love through your actions. Love your wife the way God loves us, it will be the way your children treat other people. You are one of the main influences in your children's lives - teach them how to love and be loved. Be silly, be serious, be encouraging, be everything for your children and cherish those precious moments!

With love,

forever in our hearts, we love you Sawyer!

Saturday, June 8, 2013


It's been a while since I have written; but I really need to write something. I have so many feelings swirling around that it's time. Warning; lots of raw emotions in this post. I appreciate those of you who have followed our journey and are continuing to do so, and thank you for praying for us. This blog has been an outlet that has really helped me deal with this situation and I hope it will be able to help someone else in the future. I never would wish this to happen to anyone, but the truth is that this happens more than I would ever care to think. 

I am up late with a broken heart. This weekend has been rough, and tonight has especially hit me hard. 

Today is June 9. 
Today Sawyer would have been a month old. 
Today should be a happy time in life. 

Instead of taking lots of pictures to document the changes of Sawyers life and even using those "monthly" stickers on his outfits to track his month by month changes, I am laying in bed crying. I miss my baby so much, and tomorrow will mark two weeks since we had to say "see you later" to Sawyer. I am so thankful for the 18 days we had with Sawyer, but I desperately wish for more. I long to hold my baby in my arms in the rocking chair in his nursery. It hurts to do "normal" things because I am constantly thinking 'Sawyer should be here,' and the hard truth is that he isn't, and nothing will change that. I am struggling with missing the memories that we will never have with Sawyer. I won't lie- it is hard seeing others make these memories with their children. It is hard seeing people announce pregnancies. I miss that time I had with Sawyer, and it's just a reminder of how that time is now a memory. A memory I will hold on to forever. It's hard seeing little boys and their mamas out in public - it reminds me of all the things I wanted to do with Sawyer and won't have the chance to do. It's all just really hard. I want to be that mom posting tons of pictures, but I can't. I won't ever plan a birthday party for Sawyer, take him to the beach, or teach him to ride his bike. I don't say this to make you feel sorry for me - I really say it to get my emotions out and also urge you to spend time with your little ones and love them like crazy. I know I said this in my last blog post but it is still true - life is short, so cherish the memories and make lots of them. 

God blessed Josh and I with Sawyer, and for that I will praise Him. I will be honest - my human nature is pretty irritated that this had happened to us, well lets be even more honest - I'm mad, furious, hurt, etc. Have you ever experienced the heartache and pain that is so intense you can feel it crawling up your throat? I hope you haven't, and that you never will. It sucks. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. I hope and pray none of you experience anything like this, but if you do I also pray that our story was able to help you in some way. A promise from The Lord that I have had to desperately cling to lately:

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 NIV)

And another:

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. (Psalm 119:50 NIV)

I think it's natural to question God in any hard life circumstance, no matter the severity. There are times when I have been so broken I couldn't understand why God would let this happen to us. 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) 

I don't have to understand His plan - but I do know his promises for our lives based on Jeremiah 29:11. He has a plan for this, and His plans will continue. Sawyer's life and story have already brought people closer the The Lord. Maybe that was the plan? Sawyer was an inspiration to Josh and I, as well as many others. I can only hope his story continues to touch people, and I believe will. One thing I learned was to love deeper. No one is promised tomorrow. If the deeper love I learned to have through Sawyers life touches just one other person - that is another way his story will continue to have an impact. 

I know that no one knows what to say, and that is okay. Sometimes it is better to just listen or not say anything. Many of you have told Josh and I that you are continuing to pray for us - that itself means more than you will ever know. Please continue praying for peace and strength as we adjust to life without Sawyer, a life we never wanted to experience. Josh and I are also very thankful for the financial support many of you have given us recently. I am trying to get thank you cards out but I wanted to publicly thank you all, it has helped tremendously with medical bills and funeral costs. 

Have you heard the song Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns? I have heard it before, but when I heard it tonight it held much more meaning than it ever had before. If you haven't listened to it - go check it out. Here are some of the lyrics - 

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

God is with us through this storm (I feel like it's a combo of a tornado, hurricane, monsoon, etc). He has never left us, and never will. I will continue to praise Him for the blessing that my beautiful Sawyer was, regardless of the short time we had with him. God will continue blessing us, and we will continue praising Him. 

I am so hurt and broken right now, but I am trying to remind myself as much as possible that my sweet angel will be waiting on me in Heaven and I know I will see him again! I rest in the fact that he is with Jesus having a grand time watching over his mommy and daddy. He will forever be in our hearts and forever be our guardian angel. 

Praising God for this amazing blessing. 

My word I love this beautiful baby boy. I cannot wait to see his precious face again. Mommy loves you so so much Sawyer!

Monday, June 3, 2013

one week.

It has been one week since we lost our sweet Sawyer. I haven't written much on the blog because, to be honest, I don't even know what to say. One week, 7 days, has felt like an eternity of pain and heartache to both Josh and I. This nightmare we have been living is not getting easier, it is almost getting harder. I never thought we would be in this place, and I never wanted to be here, ever. My mom said it great the other day on her Facebook page -

 "I do not know how anyone can make through a day like this without the saving grace of the Father.

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God, he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. ".
Psalm 62: 5-8"

She posted this the day of the funeral, but it is true for this whole entire experience. If it wasn't for the hope I have of one day being reunited with my son and my Heavenly Father, this would bring more heartache than I have already experienced. If I didn't know my son was completely happy AND healthy, the sadness would probably cripple me. Don't get me wrong, I am still very sad and completely heartbroken, but it has been part of the healing to remember how happy Sawyer is and that we will one day get to love on our sweet baby. God has a plan for all of this, despite whether we can see it now or in forty years. My human nature would prefer he just shows me the plan already. And maybe he has? Maybe the plan was to bring me closer to God in a way I never imagined and maybe part of the plan was to use Sawyer and his story to bring people from ALL over closer to God, that part of the plan I have already seen. Maybe the plan was for one of Sawyer's useful organs (we decided to let him be an organ donor) to save another baby's life. If that was part of the plan I hope we can meet that family one day. Although he was only with us for a short time, 18 days, his life has made more of an impact on me and many others than most will in their ENTIRE lifetime. Someone shared this verse with us at Sawyer's service: "I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:13-14. We have already seen some of the goodness of the Lord through this circumstance, and I am sure there is more to come.

Everything reminds me of Sawyer. Everything. We went in to an ice cream shop yesterday where a dad bought his daughter some ice cream - something we will never do with Sawyer. This whole trip reminds me of Sawyer because I desperately wish he was here with us, and we were making memories with him, but we aren't. The pain I feel is a combination of missing Sawyer and missing the memories we will never be able to make with him. I said some of this at the funeral, but I am going to post it here again. I will never take Sawyer to preschool, I will never plan a first birthday party for him, I will never take him to the beach, and I will never watch him graduate high school. I will never hear him say "mommy" or "I love you", which completely breaks my heart. It has been one week since I held Sawyer, and the time will just keep increasing. Whenever I get sad, Josh reminds me that Sawyer is here with us in our hearts, and that is SO true. I found this "poem" that has helped me find joy in all of the things that bring my heart pain:

"Daddy please don't look so sad, momma please don't cry. 
  Cause I'm in the arms of Jesus, and he sings me lullabies. 
  Please try not to question God, don't think he is unkind.
  Don't think he sent me to you and then changed his mind. 
  You see I'm a special child, I am needed up above. 
  I'm the special gift you gave Him, a product of your love. 
  I'll always be there with you, so watch the sky at night. 
  Look for the brightest star and know that's my halo's brilliant light. 
  You'll see me in the morning frost that mists your window pane. 
  That's me in the summer showers, I'll be dancing in the rain. 
  When you feel a gentle breeze from a gentle wind that blows. 
  Know that it's me planting a kiss upon your nose. 
  When you see a child playing and your heart feels a tug, 
  Don't be sad mommy, that's just me giving your heart a hug. 
  So daddy don't looks so sad and momma please don't cry. 
  I'm in the arms of Jesus and he sings me lullabies!"

Luckily the wind has been blowing a good bit around here and I have been getting lots of kisses upon my nose :) Sawyer was a sweetheart and I know he is looking down on Josh and I and watching over us. I miss being able to see him every day, but I am waiting until that day when I can see him again. I am SO thankful for the sacrifice that Christ made for all of us so that we can spend eternity with Him and Sawyer. It will take time, but I hope these things that make me so sad now will eventually be a reminder of the deep, deep love we have for Sawyer and the love we know he has for us. God blessed us with a special little boy, that I know for sure. 

If there is one thing that all of this has taught me it is to cherish the little things. I cherish every time he looked around at Josh and I, every smile, every dirty diaper, and every time he grabbed my finger. Life is short, this one extremely short. Please cherish these moments with your little ones, and all of the times you feel exhausted and overwhelmed, just praise the Lord he has blessed you with another day. Praise the Lord when they draw on the walls or pitch a fit over a toy at the store - both of these things, and many more, Josh and I will never experience with Sawyer. Love your little ones.

Sawyer was our little heart warrior. He will forever be in our hearts.