The Garden of Ayden

Today, we set out to our church's playground to plant a garden in memory of Ayden. This entailed a lot more work for the men than the women. The playground is all mulch...2 feet of it. They had to dig out a corner of the mulch...and then re-dig because I decided I wanted it bigger (don't you love that? leave it to the woman not doing the digging to say, "uumm....I pictured it bigger. Can you dig out more???) They happily did it, though. Next, the dirt had to be moved in. A LOT of dirt. That took a while to get spread out, so that was how yesterday ended. This morning, we took all of the plants out to the site. The arbor had to be put together, so while Jeremy and my dad did that, Emelie and I staged the plants. We bought 2 of most of the plants so everything could be semetric. We lined a pathway to the arbor with flowers, and on either side of the path, we have mums, aster, roses, crepe myrtles, and butterfly bushes. Behind the arbor is more aster and lillies. Then, on either side of the arbor, we planted Carolina Jasmine. I can't wait to see that Jasmine climb the arbor. We also put a butterfly house in the garden, and a bird house will also go out there. I'm not big on statues or figurines (for some reason, I always felt weird about cherubs), but my mom found one that I was okay with. It's a figurine of a little child and a bird and it reads, "Earth below, sky above, in between...a mother's love." I thought that was perfect.

Ayden loved being outside. He loved looking at trees. If we were ever out somewhere and he got fussy and we needed a quick fix - take him to see the trees. I know he would have loved his garden. When we showed up this morning, a yellow butterfly was hanging around. He fluttered around us the whole time we were there. Once we got everything planted, I think he alerted his friends, because all of a sudden, a bunch of them came from out of nowhere! I always loved watching butterflies; they remind me of children. If you ever watch two butterflies "chase" each's like watching children play a game of tag. Since Ayden's passing, a butterfly has been nearby me everytime I've been outside. I believe God puts things like that in our lives to comfort us. I will always think of Ayden when I see a butterfly...

We are continuing to hang in there. The days are still hard...especially when I get still. I sat down on the couch today, and it was just Jeremy and I in the living room. I just felt such a strong sense of emptiness. I didn't know what to do....I didn't have anything to do except sit there...and I realized how much time I will now have on my hands that I don't want. That time was constantly filled with playing, feeding, changing, laughing, smiling, napping.....consumed with time spent with Ayden. Now....nothing. I continue to feel such a depth of sadness, but strangely...peace at the same time. Not a peace in the way of, "I'm at peace that my son is gone." Just a peace in knowing that God has not forsaken me...He is still by my side. And although I know His hand has been in all of this....even the death of my son...I know He is still a good, gracious, merciful God. We continue to say that we have to believe God was sparing Ayden from something.....something "worse" (I can't imagine anything much worse than this, but there are some things that we consider terminal sickness...or him being kidnapped....etc.) was going to happen, and God decided to spare us of that. I know we will see Ayden again...and believe me, I am anxiously awaiting that day.

We're still taking it one day at a time....and leaning on family and friends. Thank you all for prayers, thoughts, visits, meals, cards, kind have been a blessing.


  1. Silas loved smelling the flowers! the garden looks beautiful.

  2. i can't wait to see it tomorrow--it sounds beautiful and like such a wonderful way to remember him.

    i've always been someone who has to stay "busy" and have ongoing projects. i hope that we can get going on his quilt next week. let me know if you ever want to come over and go for a walk or hang out.

  3. The garden sounds beautiful. Still praying.

  4. Still praying for you. Butterflies are so beautiful and I think they bring a since of piece when I see them. Hope you find some peace in the days ahead.

  5. Hello,

    I have left comment before.... I am Sages Mom. I planted a tree and a tombstone rose bush in our back yard the day Sage passed away. I take a picture of both of them each month on the 19th to see their growth. My garden is beautiful and helps remind me of Sage. I have butterflies come and visit me as well along with hummingbirds. I feel the same way gods little tender mercies of letting us know they are still with us on the other side.

    I have to stay busy, sitting down hurts to bad. I have many projects that I work on to help keep my mind and hands busy. My husband jokes that the only time I sit down is to go potty and pray.

    I am thankful for your blog, some blogs that I read people are angry with God and SIDS. I am not like that. I try just like you to stay focused on the Eternal side of everything. I am so sad that you are having to travel in my footsteps. I know many are.

    One thing that has helped me was the first case of SIDS was recorded in the Bible 1st Kings. The story about the 2 women and the baby dying. They use to say the Mother over layed the baby. Meaning the Mother but the baby to sleep and it did not wake up. I don't know if they will ever be able to find a cure or cause of SIDS. I sometimes just think it is the Lords Merciful way of calling these babies back home.

    Anyways, try and rest.

    Crystal Eldredge

  6. Oh Lindsay, the garden just sounds beautiful. What a lovely tribute to Ayden. The children will enjoy it for years to come as they play. I can already smell the sweet smell of jasmine in the air. Thank you to you and your family and friends for making such a beautiful addition to the church playground as you remember Ayden.

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  8. Congratulations on the garden, what a wonderful thing to do for him! We planted a tree in memory of our Grayson.

    I have never in my life been a tattoo person, didn't even know anyone with one, but I got one after we lost Grayson. It's a daisy with his name. "The Legend of the daisy" is said to be a symbol from God that a parent WILL BE happy again one day after the death of their child.

    Still have y'all in our thoughts and prayers - Kelley

  9. The garden sounds beautiful. I'll make a point to go out and see it on Saturday. So nice that you added butterfly bushes. Everytime I see a butterfly, I think of your Ayden. Your family is in our daily prayers.

  10. I was sent your blog through my friend Becky (a childhood friend of your husband) and read it daily. I have been very hesitant to respond to your posts since you don't know me!! However, this post about the butterfly rings very true. God does send us symbols that remind us that he is with us and to bring us comfort. There was a point in my life that I went through a hardship and my symbol/comfort was the butterfly as well. I even got a tattoo on my ankle of a butterfly. Every time I see it, I am reminded of how God carried me through that hardship and eventually brought happiness from it and I know that he will do the same for you. A verse that was read in our church this morning reminded me of you and the struggle you are having to face...2 Corinthians 1:4 "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us". You have tremendous strength and I will continue to pray for you in the days, weeks and months ahead. God Bless - Nicole

  11. I love the idea of the garden, I'll have to check it out next time we're at the church. It really is fun to watch butterflies. We always have them around our flower garden at the house, too!

    Still praying for you daily, I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

  12. Beautiful Lindsay.....the garden, butterfly house, Ayden's love of outdoors, your faith. Beautiful.