Januaries Lead to Februaries

Januaries are hard. You would think that as time goes on each one would get a little easier than the last but that's not how it works. This January seems harder than the last. Every night so far this month, I have cried myself to sleep, lost in thoughts of all the details surrounding Jonah and the aftermath of losing him. To some I'm sure this sounds crazy but that's ok. You don't bury your child...and then another child...and come out sane. It all still blows my mind. I look at Everley and the twinkle in her eyes and the loads of personality she has and it makes me miss Jonah and Harper in one hundred million more ways. To think that I have and will miss all of this with them...gets me every time it crosses my mind.

I saw a little girl the other day. She was due around the same time Jonah was. I told Aaron how I couldn't believe that if Jonah were here, he would be that old already. And I felt that old familiar lump start to rise in my throat. Seeing Sarah walk the same path, early in her grief, refreshes my memory of all the hurt, the loss, the disappointment, the anguish, the constant feeling that everyone thought I was crazy-only to be sealed by people telling me I was crazy. I don't miss those days. But they really are never far from me. I can walk into a crowded room now and not fall apart. I can meet new people and not worry what my response will be when they ask how many kids I have. I can smile and laugh and not feel like people are gauging whether or not I am handling things well. I can even sing with the congregation in church again. But at night, when everyone else is asleep in my house, I still lay wide awake with tears rolling down my face, missing Jonah and Harper and remembering every single moment that I had with them. The pain and the hurt is still as fresh as it was almost five years ago, I guess I'm just better at keeping it together hese days.

Januaries are hard because they lead to Februaries.

What Not To Say Since You Can't Fix This

I have been silent on this blog for awhile. And I have been quiet on social media concerning my sister and her husband losing their precious baby boy, Tate Henry Murphy. I guess this is me breaking my silence... 

I still can't quite wrap my head around the events of the past week or so. I'm still in shock that Sarah and Clint had to say hello and goodbye and bury their only child. I do not understand the whys. I never will. But I am comforted to know that my God is strong enough to handle my questions, my anger, my brokenness, my tears for my precious sister. My God does not look on this whole situation from afar. He hurts with us and He knows we can't see the whole picture. Those things are what gives me comfort as I look at Sarah and Clint's tear-stained faces. 

I have had a million thoughts go through my head since Sunday, September 4, when Sarah and Clint found out that Tate was gone. People keep asking me what they can do. People want to fix this. People want to do or say something to ease the pain. You can't. There is not one thing that will ease this pain or fix this for Sarah and Clint. However, there are some things you can NOT do that will help them as they navigate this road they have to walk down. 

1. Do NOT tell them that God or Heaven needed another angel. First of all, this "sentiment" does not comfort people left behind to live without their child. Second of all, when an adult, a child, a baby or anyone dies, they do not become an angel-read the Bible please and quit spreading false doctrine to try to comfort someone-it does NOT. 

2. Do NOT tell them that life goes on. They are painfully aware of that. Saying this implies that they need to get over everything and go on like nothing ever happened. This is by far the rudest thing to say to someone in the midst of their grief and it is extremely unhelpful. 

3. Do NOT tell them that everything happens for a reason. Do you know the reason that horrible things like this happen? Sin entered the world long ago and because of this life is hard and horrible, unbearable things happen. 

4. Do NOT tell them that they will have another child one day. That is irrelevant. No matter how many children they ever have, they will always be missing Tate. Just like with us, Everley brings us a joy we never thought we could have but she does not replace Jonah or Harper or negate anything that happened. Her presence does not make me forget their absence. 

4. Do NOT say or think that you will give them time before you come around or get in touch and then not follow through for several weeks or months or ever. Trust me when I say that they will forever remember who hung around and walked with them through their grief. 

And last of all (for now), please know that there isn't an end to the grief or path they are walking. The only end is when Sarah and Clint are reunited with Tate one day in Heaven. Until then, their lives will forever look different, they will forever be hurting and broken. The only things that need to be said to them are that you are so sorry, you love them and you are praying for them. Anything else really isn't helpful. Words are inadequate when the child you were getting ready to bring home is buried in a cemetery...beside his two baby cousins who never got to come home either. I mean seriously. 

The thoughts, prayers, food, cards and flowers that have been sent to Sarah and Clint have been greatly appreciated. Please continue to stand in the gap for them by praying for them in the days, weeks, months and even years to come. 

Spring And Growing Too Fast

Every Spring I like to walk around my yard and see what is starting to bloom and this morning I had a sweet baby girl on my hip as I did. To see the wonder in Everley's eyes brought tears to mine. I would show her a bloom and her eyes would light up and a smile would spread across her face. Ruby and Bingo would run by, playing with each other and Everley would scream and squeal with excitement. She loves her puppies so much. 

Everley is growing much too fast for me. I can't believe in just six weeks she will be a whole year old. I'm excited for all the future holds with Everley, the things we will get to experience with her over the years to come but I can't help but be sad for how quick time seems to fly by with her. Those first few months were rough for us since we were trying to figure out the whole breastfeeding thing and I'm pretty sure I was one big hormonal mess (Aaron would agree!) and I remember thinking the days were dragging by. But man I was wrong, even the early days lasted for a blink of an eye. 

I think part of the reason why I'm so sad that Everley is approaching a year old is because I'm also sad that I missed out on the first year with Jonah and the first year with Harper. Missing out on their little personalities and big smiles will never get easier. Everley brings us so much joy and happiness and we wonder how we ever lived without her. I mean, I look at her and I could just burst because she makes my heart so full and so happy. But we sure miss her brothers and we always wonder how they would have added to all the fun and beauty of Everley's first year in our lives. 

February 26

I can't let this day pass without acknowledging that today was Harper's due date. I miss him and all the dreams I had for him. He was perfect and so loved. And February 26 will always be the day he was expected to arrive.... 


Four. Years. I can't believe that's how long it has been. I can't believe that's how old you would be. Should be. Everything from this day four years ago plays in my mind over and over. Not just on this day. 

Today was beautiful. The sun was shining and it felt like Spring. And I caught myself thinking that the day was almost as beautiful as you. But not quite. I have held Everley extra close today-squeezed her and kissed her and breathed her in-imagining all those moments I have missed with you in four years, and thankful that I have her here this year on this sad and hurtful day. 

You are so missed and so longed for and my heart aches and my throat swells at the thought of you. Of the thoughts of all I've missed and will always miss. Of thoughts from when I held your precious little body close, forever broken that you wouldn't get to live this life with us here. 

To see you and Harper doting on Everley-what I wouldn't give. 

Happy Birthday in Heaven Jonah...I miss you so much down here. So, so much.

Thinking of Jonah

I have always loved dogs. If there is a dog anywhere around me, you can bet I'm gonna be loving on it as soon as you can blink! I just love them. 

When I was pregnant with Jonah, we painted his room, picked out his bedding and I ordered a Charlie Brown and Snoopy wall decal. The thought of Jonah with his own puppy (Ruby) just caused my heart to swell-I could not wait to see the love between my boy and his dog. Pretty soon, my niece Allie would say Jonah everytime she saw Charlie Brown or Snoopy or even Woodstock. 

When we lost Jonah, I didn't change a thing about his incomplete room. When we found out we were pregnant with Harper, I planned on changing the room up-different bedding, different decal-I wanted Harper's room to be different because I'm my mind Charlie Brown and Snoopy was just Jonah's. But, when we lost Harper, I still had not taken down the Charlie Brown and Snoopy decal. As a matter of fact, I finally took it down when we turned the room into Everley's. 

Earlier today, thoughts of the day I found out Jonah's heart had stopped beating flooded my mind. I remember the emptiness I felt inside, I remember laying on my bed when I got home that night, holding my stomach and just sobbing. I remember taking a bath and just staring at my stomach and crying. I remember it all so clearly-as if it just happened. 

So tonight Everley wore her Snoopy shirt that I got my sister to make to match some pants she has, because it is precious and because I miss Jonah and I miss Harper today. 

I miss them everyday, but today the tears came as I thought about my Jonah and how much I wanted him and how devastated I was when I learned he had gone from me. 

It never does get easier to live with half of your heart here and the other half in Heaven.

Harper Would Have Been Three

Today was a beautiful day. As I was driving home from church I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the sky and the trees were. A perfect fall day, except it wasn't. 

Three years ago today, I was in Gainesville in preterm labor with Harper. I can't believe that was three years ago. Yet, I remember it all like it was yesterday. I remember the desperation I felt as things seemed to get worse, the labor only progressing. I remember the devastation I felt as I realized it was over and there was nothing that could be done to help Harper. Devastated doesn't even seem to be the right word for the moment I realized I wouldn't be bringing this baby home either. I remember the uneasiness I felt when I realized that Harper passed away on my mama's birthday-uneasy because that day would always hurt now. And I was right. October 18-Harper's earthly birthday, October 19-Harper's Heavenly birthday. Both days hurt, every year. 

I saw a little boy today who was born around the same time as Harper. Makes me catch my breath everytime...I can't shake the thought that he should be here, that size already. That I should have 3 years and 8 months old Jonah and 3 year old Harper here with us. That I should have two little boys here, loving on their baby sister. 

So while today was a beautiful, perfect fall day, it really wasn't very perfect at all because Harper was missing from it. There was no birthday cake and giggles, no sloppy wet kisses and smiles. And tomorrow will be the same. 

Oh are so very loved and so very missed every second of the day, my sweet boy...Selfishly I wish you and Jonah were here in our arms. That would be a perfect day.