I think I often at this time of year find myself in a little despair, and saying how I cannot believe it's been this long and yet it seems so incredibly long ago.
The waves are less often that's a fact, but the one that came yesterday hit me and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I found myself in a pit for awhile, one I wanted out of so desperately but yet couldn't climb.
I went by Ethan's grave in the morning and as my feet hit the crunchy sound of the snow, I felt my heart tremble. I walked along the snowy banks of the graves careful as always not to walk along the graves but above the headstones.
I felt a little bit of panic as I got closer to Ethan's grave. I don't visit often because I have grown from that need to parent his grave. I know he is not there, however I wanted to take his Valentines to him, and originally I wanted to read a quick story to him but it was too cold and I couldn't access his grave very well with all the snow anyways.
As I laid his bear and candies on his headstone I felt the need to bend down and place a kiss from my finger to his headstone as I so often did before. And the wave of grief completely knocked me over. I felt my kness buckle and the warmth of my tears flodd my eyes and roll down my face.
I headed back to the car and had a near mental breakdown. Thankfully God provided me with someone to comfort me and she just held me and prayed with me. But the first fifteen minutes of the car ride from there I felt like I was going to lose it.
A song came on the radio one I often love, where he is telling God he is not strong enough and he had given him more than he can handle. I felt the tears flood me again as I thought, "yes God, why? why me? I just want Ethan back. I know it's selfish but please just for a few moments"
And quickly I felt him remind me he was there and it wasn't too much and I had proven with him I was more than strong enough.
The day went smoothly from there. I came home and prepared for Ethan's party and was very humbled by the love of those around me. The gathering to celebrate Ethan's life was more of a testimate of God's faithfulness than anything. He knew what I needed this year and all those people who love my family and love Ethan even if they didn't know him were there to remember him.
I played his slide show and scanned the room a few times, a dear high school friend had tears filling her eyes, one of my nilmdts families had tears in their eyes. I felt a great sense of love at those moments, and pain again.
As I neared my speech I felt anxiety once again. I had been playing this over in my head over and over and yet, nothing I felt would come out the way my heart felt. My hands trembled and my heart made the words come out.
I can't even tell you what I said honestly, I was so caught in the moment the words just flowed.
But I will tell you that this is what I ment to or wanted to say.
One of my biggest fears in losing Ethan was over time people would move on, the world would go on rightfully so. But I was afraid since Ethan wasn't physically here he would be forgotten. And this year I am absoultely humbled by the love of those around me. Some of you have been by my side as my family, some friends of 19 plus years, some of you mentors, friends, friends who became family, my nildmts family, and flatirons church family. God has been so faithful and it has been one of the hardest trials of my life, but he has always been there. He provided me with each of you as a stepping stone through to the other side. And I am just amazed at all of your love for me and my family and a little boy who touched the world but his feet never touched the ground. I simply love all of you and I thank you.
The balloon release went off well with a few balloons finding their way into the trees again this year. His cake was beautifully done and the butterfly cupcakes complimented it so well.
My home and heart were beautifully crowded with love and God's outpour of love in our lives.
My sweet Ethan,
I miss you more than words will ever express, more than my heart can compherend. And yet, I know you are with our savior and your life there is more amazing than I will ever understand or than I will ever be able to imagine. I will find myself in joy and then in heartbreak until me meet again. Hopefully more joy through the years! Thank you for allowing me to be your mom, and for the wonders my life has embraced by your short life. God has a plan and he is doing so much incredible work in our lives here on earth, somedays it isn't easy, some days dibilitating actually but I am always quickly reminded of his love.
Ethan my sweet angel, give Jesus a kiss on the cheek for me and tell him thank you for all his blessings. Tell Zach mommy said thank you for sharing his mom with me too! I know what a true mother's love is like because of her.
Little Man four years ago I thought my life was over, how little did I know then. It was just beginning. Four years ago all I could see is what I was going to be missing and what I didn't have. Now I see the fruitful blessings because of you. Happy Birthday my sweet baby.