Ten Years in Heaven: A Mother Remembers

You left us ten years ago today. Born to be welcomed into the loving arms of God instead of to my frail aching ones, you entered Heaven before I was ready. Today, on the anniversary of your death, I remember, for a mother never truly forgets.

Your dad and I watched, waited, and worshipped as your little life slipped away. We praised Jesus when the news came that you would be joining our family in June. We still praised Jesus when He began to hold you for all of eternity, and I knew that I never would again on this earth. Through your brief life and death, I learned that God is good, not just in the giving, but in the taking away as well.

My heart has healed in these last ten years, it’s true. Your brother and sister see to that each and every day. The laughter that has been left in your empty place amazes me with every passing breath. Even now, new life is kicking about inside of my womb, proclaiming yet again that God is good and the One Who carries this family from strength to strength.

And yet, I find myself wondering over and over again, how I can miss someone so much that I never even got to meet. There were such few firsts with you, my Christian. The first time I discovered I was pregnant, the first signs of life inside of me, the first doctor appointment, the first time your Dad and I could announce we were going to be someone’s parents, the first pictures we still cherish of you, the first time we should have seen and heard your heartbeat flitting across an ultrasound screen. No, we didn’t get that many firsts; we only have the lasts, the final moments on this side of Heaven’s gates.

Would your first word have been “Ma Ma” like your brother and sister? How many skinned knees would I have bandaged as you learned to ride a bike? I wonder if you would have loved chocolate and pizza and cheeseburgers, but only the kind that your Daddy grills. Would you be the leader or the follower as you played with the other kids at recess? Would you love football or soccer? Would you be left handed? What would you dream of as you were growing up? What would it be like to watch you and Gary play the Wii together? Would you play dolls with Joelle, because that’s what big brothers do? Would you kiss my growing belly each night the way your brother and sister now do?

I held your secret in our family for many years. Finally, last month, the time came for Gary and Joelle to hear of your life and your death. You, my darling baby, will always be a part of me, of this family, of your Dad’s and my legacy. Huddled in front of a fire, while we celebrated openly with your siblings that another little one is coming soon, I told them of the one who came first but never came home. Not to this temporary dwelling anyway.

Now your siblings know that they have a brother waiting for them in Heaven, who will one day lead us all to the Feet of Jesus in eternal worship. This knowledge has been so freeing. For years I have dreaded the questionnaires at the doctor’s visits or the conversations about parenthood, of love and loss. “How many children do you have? How many times have you been pregnant?”

I remember you today, my baby. Though I have no gravesite to visit, no physical markers of your journey from this life to the next, I carry your name and your memory as close as my next breath. You are my first child, though we never had the chance to look into each other's eyes. You have a Maker Who formed you even before time began. He knew you; He knew your name; He knew the significance of your story. And to honor Him and to honor you, I will continue telling this story, the story of a baby born straight to Heaven and the loving family who will never forget.

So, on this ten year anniversary, little Christian, your mother celebrates your life and your death. I proclaim to all who will listen that I am the mother of Christian, of Gary, of Joelle, and of this new miracle rapidly growing inside. I have four darling angel children. And I thank Jesus for all His gifts, even the one I couldn’t keep.

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