Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas my Sweet Ethan and Happy Birthday my Savior Jesus!

Another Christmas has come and gone, the hussle and bustle of the holidays are now over. As well as the emotions leading up to the event.

Sometimes it's hard not to get lost in the emotion and lose the reason of the season. My savior Jesus Christ's Birthday.

When I got down I had to remind myself of the picture in my mind of Ethan so free with Christ and how amazing it must be to be in Jesus's arms, and spending his birthday with him. How he is free of the pain in this world. Not that I don't want him with me sometimes. Not that I am not envious of others who get their little ones, or that Jesus gets to hold my baby and I don't, because I would be lying if I said that.

But oh what the sight it would be to see him up there living a life so much greater than we have down here.

Church on Christmas Eve was amazing and yet sad all at the same time. Beautiful for so many reasons, but when we sang silent night I almost bawled I had to keep holding it in. That song gets to me everytime. Then when the pastor was talking about Peace in life all I could do was shake my head in agreeance. I want peace with so many things. I think I have it with Ethan but somedays I fall backwards on my ass, I miss him I want him too. But I know in the end I wouldn't trade my life as it is now, to get him back for a short time.

Merry Christmas from the Donaldson Clan, all my kiddos and Ethan Bear in Ethan's place.

Here are a few of the letter's we got from other's for Ethan and I thank everyone who took the time to write to him and us.

Dearest Ethan,
Your life was so big even before it began because you were, are and always will be loved. Love is so much bigger than life and yours is forever.

Sweet Ethan,
How beautiful it must be to be in the Arms of Jesus; to run and skip and play with Him. How magnificent it must be to be free from the pain of this world and instead embraced in the Love of Christ. How beautiful it must be to hear the laughter of the King of kings and get lost in His Smile. You see things so clearly; your heart has the love in it that we can only imagine here on earth. I know that time is of no consequence to you, but in the blink of an eye you will once again be joined with your Mommy and Daddy and your brothers and all whom you love. They yearn for the day that you will be able to bring them to Jesus; your friend, your Lord and your Savior.
Thank you for your sacrifice so that others can come to know Jesus through your life, your Heaven day and your family. You are precious, loved and missed. Well done, good and faithful servant!
"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"
With love,

Dear Ethan,

Though your family and I have not met in person, you all hold a special
place in my heart. You have brought so much awareness to such a sad
cause, and have healed so many in that process. Your mother is one of a
kind and I take comfort in the faith and hope she has in our heavenly
Father. I think of you often and hope that you are playing with our sweet
Landon. Merry Christmas sweet Ethan. You are not forgotten but forever
remembered by so many including myself.

I don't personally know your family... but I've
kept up with your Mom through the years over
the internet!! She's a neat lady, your Mom!!
Even in sterile black and white print, your Mom's
love for you is as easy to see as the sun in the sky.
Merry Christmas in Heaven Ethan.

Dear Sweet Ethan,

You and your family mean so much to me, and your mommy has helped me cope more than she knows. I want to thank you and my sweet Seth for bringing us together, although it had to be in a sad way, I am so blessed to know her, and get to know you through her. You are one of the most precious baby boys ever, and I love you so much. I know you and my Seth are the best of friends, and I can't wait to see you boys and give you big hugs and kisses!!!
Please continue to watch over us, and send us angel kisses! Give Seth a hug from his mommy, and tell him that i love and miss him so much. I love you, and can't wait to meet you one day!!

Merry Christmas Ethan,
I adore your mom . . . I haven't met your dad yet but I he sounds like a good guy. You probably know so much more than we do about how amazing life and love is. You are already part of the bigger picture and have seen that what happens here is only a flicker in the massive light that we all return to. Your mom and dad wanted you to stay longer but it wasn't meant to be. Perhaps there is something greater to be gained from your brief time than we totally understand but I do know that you changed everything in so many ways for your mom. She rose up out of the ashes of losing you like a phoenix and has been a HUGE part of helping so many other families deal with loss and heartache. It's hard to believe that someone as small as you could do something so big. We measure everything here, how big, how tall, how small, how short something lasts, how long we live . . . we rarely measure the important things that really can't BE measured. And if we measure a life shouldn't we measure it's depth and not it's length? There are many people in this world that live a long time and they never know the love you knew in the short time you were here. You were and are loved deeply, wanted deeply, missed deeply and that is a measurement more worthy of noting than length of time.
I wish I could help your mom not hurt so bad. You really did make her into a powerful person though, into a better person although she might not see it that way. She carries the pain of losing you like it is a gift, precious and fragile. Sometimes it's heavier than other times but she has used that gift of pain in ways that honor you, acknowledge you, that keep you present and allow others to see that love and grief are not something to be ashamed of or hidden away.
I never met you Ethan but I like to picture you playing with all the other little ones who left too soon, all the babies that we have held and said good-bye to. If not for you I never would have met your mom and while I wish it had all turned out different and that I never knew she existed because you had lived, it didn't turn out that way. So I take the gift that you gave to all of us in your passing. The gift of knowing your mom, knowing how incredible she is, knowing how much to helps others move through their sadness and loss and I'll cherish that gift.

I'm writing you this christmas season to let you know that alot of people here on earth miss you dearly and wish they could see you enjoy all the gifts and family time together. I wish I could see you with your mommy and daddy and siblings but you are with Jesus and somedays I wonder what that's like for all of our angel babies. I don't get to see your momma ever but i have special place in my heart for all of you. So during this christmas season if you could please be with your family and give them the strength to enjoy it and love each other. Send a kiss down on christmas day for all your family to feel, when the snow flakes fly i always like to think they are tiny kisses from all the babies in heaven. Love you Little Ethan, enjoy your christmas with Jesus but remember not a day goes by that we don't all think of you and miss you so dearly. Love you buddy.

Dear Sweet Ethan,
I can imagine you this holiday season singing and dancing and being completely surrounded in God's love up in heaven. Your family here on earth loves you so much and your absence is hard to understand. I am just getting to know your mommy, she is so sweet and her heart is so big. She cares for so many people, I don't know how she does it. I know you are so proud to be her son. I cant wait to meet you in heaven one day, little man. You must be one special guy, being loved by so many!
Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you sweet boy,
Ethan I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas up in Heaven. I know you and Abbi and all of your little angel friends are having a huge celebration today. Please send your Mommy & Daddy and brothers and Sister some love from up there and some Angel Kisses too, they miss you so much everyday but especially on this most precious Holiday. How exciting that you get to spend Jesus' birthday up there in heaven with him. I bet it is really beautiful. I also bet you and all the other little angels are buzzing around heaven and making Jesus smile so big.I also want to thank you Ethan. It is because of you and my Abbi that your Mommy and I are special friends. your Mommy is such a wonderful, strong, brave woman of God and I am privileged to know her and I know you are so very proud of her. She does so many things for others Ethan and that is all because of you.
Wishing you a VERY Merry Christmas Ethan-lots of love to you from Abbi's Mommy

Angela, I am wishing you all ( you, Guy, Blake, Aiden,Ethan, Corbin, Dillon and Zoey) a very Merry Christmas this year
Much Love

Your wonderful parents are reading this Christmas message to you. Even though I've never gotten the chance to meet your mom in real life, she is one of the people I can talk with about anything and everything. Sweet Ethan, you couldn't have hand picked any better parents and siblings then the ones you have. Their dedication to keeping your memory alive is amazing. You may not have had much time on earth, but in your life, you have impacted more people then you can ever know. Our family in AZ wish you a very Merry Christmas. Please welcome 3 little ones we just lost, Morgan, Logan and Luke. Show them the way up there and show them the true joy of God so that we may forever hear your giggles down here.
With love,

Please know that Ethan is always in my heart and in my mind, but I am not good at writing this letter. I attempt it every year and fail every time. I just can not put my thoughts into words on paper!
My love to you always!

Dear Sweet Ethan,
Hey there little buddy, how are you doing? Are you ready for Christmas? I know you dont know me but I have become a friend of your mommys. I heard all about you and how incerdiably special you are to your mommy, daddy, bothers and your sister. You are one amazinly loved little boy. There is not a day that goes by that your family and friends are not thinking about you. Mommy and daddy have your pictures all over their home so everyone can see their perfect little angel son. You are greatly missed, your life here on earth was not ment for some reason. I know its because you are just too special for earth. God wanted you to be with him. He took you away from us to prove he only takes the best. As our hearts are filled with sarrow because you are not here we try to look up and smile at you everyday. Your mommy and daddy do things for you like you are here on earth with us. Your parents are amazing and so are your siblings. Your mom is a very brave, strong person. I am sure you already know this but I had to say it again, because it can never been said enough. As much as we wanted you here on earth with us , God had another plan for you.
You are missed greatly by so many people. You know something kind of cool?, my oldest son is name Ethan. Ethan is a great name for a great strong brave little boy! You will be forever in our hearts and mind, nothing will ever change that. Please contuine to keep watch over your wonderful family. You are truley loved and always will be. You might know my mom Kim she is up there in heaven with you also. God took her home about 2 years ago. So until the day we meet you again in heaven stay handsome and strong. We all love and miss you, though I never got to meet you I still think about you all the time.
Have a wonderful heavenly Merry Christmas!
In Gods loving name

Those are just some of them, but oh so healing and powerful to see people love on my little boy and keep his memory alive with us. Even if very simple, it was such an amazing gesture and I appericate every single word.
So thank you and even if you didn't get a chance to say anything but he was on your mind I thank you for that too!

I miss Ethan so much but I will tell you I am so incredibly blessed when I hear my sons sit and pray. On Christma day Aiden prayed at dinner and I was so humbled by a 6 year olds words. Sometime along the lines of this " Dear God thank you so much for our greatest gift, our savior Jesus. You gave him to me and all my friends and I love you for that. Amen"

God thank you so much for allowing me to put you into my childrens lives on a much greater level than ever. Thank you jesus for holding my baby boy and teaching him so much more than I would be able to on this earth. And Ethan my sweet boy I love you so much and I hope up there you get to experience christmas more incredibly than we can ever do down here.

Merry christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus. And to Mary thank you for giving your son for all of us. I am sure it wasn't easy. If you only knew in your pregnancy what would be.......

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I get it........

I think one of the worst parts of being a parent who's lost a baby, is how incredibly alone you feel. You can sit in a room with a hundred people and still
feel so alone.

I get that......

I get the screaming from the pit of your very being that your baby died....

That you just want one more minute to cherish and soak in every possible ounce of your child.

I get how angry you are at God. I've been there, I've cursed at him, I hated him and what he allowed to happen to me was unexcusable.

I get feeling like you failed your child. You didn't save them, you didn't protect them, and it was your #1 job.

I get that you wish people would just say your childs name. Think of them and help keep their memory alive. No matter how many months, years pass by.

I get how crushed you feel, how life no longer has any meaning.

I get the despair you feel, I too still almost 4 years later feel it.

The Anger, Hurt, Dissappointment, Abadonment from God, friends and family, the fear of lifes possibilties now.

I get how you just sit around waiting now for something else to happen, because you now know that you are no longer immune to such tragic pain. Usually its stories of people losing their babies not anyone you know, and now you are one of them.

I get how losing a child feels like a life sentence, because in reality it kinda is. And the cost is a broken heart for life.

I get how seeing other peoples babies, children around your childs age is a stab in the heart. The "I should have that". I have a hard time still with this.

I get the asking, "why does that person have a baby and they can't take care of him/her, but I don't have my baby", "why on earth would God allow people to have babies when they kill them, hurt them, throw them away of give them up, but again I don't have mine and we wanted him/her more than anything"

I get the whole..... I would rather die than feel this pain for one more day.

I also get the, if I smile, laugh or be happy it will hurt my baby. He/She will think I have forgotten them.

The anger that comes up when people make comments such as, "God needed another angel", "maybe there was something wrong with them", "God did it". No matter what anyone else will tell you it doesn't make the pain go away, and no matter what the reason may be it will not make the heartache vanish.

I get the need to feel joy again too!

I guess all I am trying to say is as lonely as it can feel out there in this world to lose a baby you are anything but alone.
I get you, your feelings, hurt, anger, and need to make a way through this lifetime. You are NOT alone.

Even if you can't feel, hear or see God along the way. Which I can tell you he never left me. I may not have felt it, or even wanted to feel it for that matter. He never left. I know in my heart he was in that room with us crying when we lost Ethan. He wanted nothing more than to make our heartache go away.

But if you don't feel him, need him now, or care about him. You are still not alone. The community of baby loss is so wide and so amazing. You don't have to do it alone and you don't have to feel bad for any of the things you are feeling.

I still sit in awe that here in 8 weeks it will be 4 long, lonely, crazy, joyful, amazing, winding years since I said hello and goodbye all at once to my son.

I can't believe I went from, I cannot believe my God would allow such a hurt in my life when I have been faithful to him to God thank you for allowing me to be Ethan's mom and allowing me to find a greater plan in his death.

I still miss him so much it hurts, and so much it can bring me to my knees. Sometimes I still tell the Lord how wrong it feels. But he can take it, he knows my heart. In my despair and darkness he is there, I don't even have to tell him all that's inside he knows it.

Someday I will hold Ethan's hand, and it will be so incredible to be with him then. Our lifetime is just a few moments for them in Heaven.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feeling the feelings.....

I have no idea what to call this post, I feel all over the board with my emotions right now.

One minute complete happiness and the next I am exhausted from saddness.

I did however come across this video, which I absolutely love. You will need to mute the music at the bottom of the page to hear this one.

I LOVE this song. I know Jesus is holding my baby boy and teaching all the things we would, but on a much different level.

And then at the same time this song made me cry, Heaven seems so darn far away. Yet I know it will be here much faster than I know it.

Holidays seem to just suck the life out of you sometimes. And I just pray our father can wrap his arms around us and keep us from sinking into despair.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saddness lurking

I have had my fair share of ups and downs lately, some regarding Ethan and some just general loss. It hasn't been easy but I guess eye opening to an extent.

I see so many moms hurting right now though.

Moms who have no children living and desperatly want a little one to love and hold in their arms not just their hearts.

I wish there was something I could say or do to lessen that burden. But I know all too well it can't. But I do wish peace for all families who are sitting in despair in their beds, not wanting to face the day, or people on the streets or family even for that matter.

I have come to learn even our own family can try to push back their own emotions and saddness.

I am not trying to defend anyone who ingores us, or our children who we so badly want mentioned or acknowledged. At all so please don't just hear that.

What I am saying however is, our loss is so unique, no one can get it unless they have experienced it and even then its so different.

When we lose our child(ren). We face a whole new way of approaching life and people. Our tolerance is minimual to say the least. We lose Grace towards others and patience in the petty things we see in life. Nothing will ever compare to us with the loss of a child. Rightfully so I must agree.

But I know for me, my family doesn't mention Ethan often, but I know they think of him. I think sometimes they don't bring him up in fear they will make a good day go bad or they will make a bad day go worse. They don't get that we want and crave that so much.

But I also think this is the hard part for us. Learning to extend grace to our families. They have not only experienced the loss in a grandchild, but in a way their own child.

They can't fix us, and just as we as moms feel it was our job to protect our baby and most of us feel we failed. So do our families especially our parents. They can't take our pain, and they can't do a darn thing but sit back and watch us suffer.

I have to imagine as a parent that, that is so crushing. We want nothing but to scoop up our children and hold them and make it go away. They can't do that.

So instead they take a step back and try not to bring the subject up. It might be uncomfortable for them and they don't know how to deal with their own pain regarding the loss. That doesn't mean that it's ok and this will just magically make everyone feel better when their baby is being forgotten.

But I guess I have had been forced to learn how to accept. That no one loved Ethan like I did. They don't get it and it scares them.

Does it mean I don't still hurt sometimes? Oh absolutely not. No one in the family writes Ethan a note for his stocking. I don't know why, it hurts but I can't make them love him like I do.

I guess maybe we really do have to be the big person here offer grace and walk away. I do suggest writing a letter to whom ever is hurting you by not acknowledging your baby though. Sometimes our words when hurting and confronting this situation don't mix well or come out right. But a letter may just be the ticket. Spill it all out, what's the worst that can happen?

I hate that a time of year that should be so joyful are so painful for many of us.

I still do not have any decorations up, no tree and I know I have to. 5 kiddos are counting on it this year. But I have no interest, and typically it takes awhile to find it during this time of year.

I know for me the hard part is knowing one is always missing. And I miss him so much. What he would look like, be like, the toys he would like, his personality. I miss the not knowing, the guessing which I can't seem to do. My kids all look alike so that's all I can go off of. But yet they are all so different. I feel cheated I don't get to see his uniqueness.

Be patient with yourself and pray that God will wrap his arms around you, he will walk you through it all and you will not be alone. And know he has NOT forgotten. He knows all our pain, and he loves our babies while they wait for us.