Heaven is the face...

If you haven't heard Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "Heaven if the Face" - you should. As many know, our family can relate to his. They've lost a child, too. After the loss of their daughter, he wrote this song and in it he talks about how Heaven is the face of his little girl. For us, Heaven is the face of our little boy. A handsome little boy with the cutest giggle, sweetest smile, and so-full-of-life personality.

As a Christian, getting to Heaven and being in the presence of God is the ultimate goal. However, and I hope God doesn't mind (I'm actually interested in how He may perceive all this), my motivation for getting to Heaven is now a lot different. Can He blame me? Of course I will continue to serve Him and live a life pleasing to Him because it is my calling as a follower and believer; however, I will also live a life on track for Heaven so I can get my hands on my little boy again. Again, can He blame me at all?? Sometimes I wonder how God feels about me seeing it that way, because that mindset is almost like saying, "Yeah, I want to go to Heaven because God's there, but I REALLY want to be there because my child is there." - it can come off as putting God 2nd. Understand, I'm not doing that. I realize my role in Heaven will be to worship and praise my Lord eternally. However, I also believe we will have relationships in Heaven. They won't be the "same" relationships we have here. For instance, Jeremy won't be my "husband" but I believe we will have a strong connection to each other. Ayden will be our child because he is the child God gave us here. So, it's two-fold for us now. God and Ayden = reason to make it to Heaven. I just felt a peace rush over me when I typed that....to see God, our creator, the decision-maker, the ultimate of ultimates - wow! and then to see Ayden...my precious little boy who I love and miss so much...my little boy forever - for eternity - my child for ETERNITY! You want to see me smile a true smile of happiness? It's on my face and in my heart as I type this. That little boy is the spark in my heart that keeps my life going....keeps my feet moving....just the idea of seeing him again. I hope it's soon....

I read a verse in Psalms today (forgive me, I don't know where it is off-hand), but it said that life is like a fleeting flower in the grass. I imagine dandelions (yes, I know it's a weed, but it works). They're there....the wind blows...and their seeds float away...little by little, but it doesn't take long, and they're gone. The thought of life being so quick used to worry me....I had so much I wanted to do. NOW, I'm ready. NOW! Let's go! It's comforting now to know that life is fleeting and those in heaven perceive their absence from us as a breath. When we are rejoined with Ayden, it will be as if we were gone just momentarily from him....

A SIDS counselor from the health department came today. We were her first case. I hope this means she will never forget us and our beautiful Ayden. She was very helpful, so sweet and compassionate. We spoke a lot about SIDS and the mysteries of it. Theories can be made, "studies" performed, but there is still no answer to "why" this happens. Why did my healthy, never-been-sick, developmentally advanced, strong-necked little boy die of SIDS? They don't know. In a way, hearing the words, "They don't know" devastates me. On the other hand, the report of SIDS is comforting because we knew we did everything right! That is what has been running through my head all weekend, "We did everything right! Why did it have to happen? We did it right." I educated myself on SIDS throughout my pregnancy, researching every aspect of it - the "back to sleep" campaign, the dangerous stuff to have in the crib, etc. We took every bit of caution possible.

If you are pregnant or have an infant - just experience talking - you can prepare, prevent, pray all you want - if God ordains it to happen, it's going to happen. This is what we've had to accept. It happen when they lay on their back, side, stomach. It happens at home, at day care, in the car seat, in the swing. It happens to upper-class, middle-class, lower-class. It happens to white, black, yellow, brown. It is not preventable - we have learned this the hard way - the way no parents ever wants to learn it. SIDS was my biggest fear. I would lie awake watching Ayden breathing, and I would just be praying...ceaselessly for air, for breathe, for his lungs to stay strong, for his heart to stay strong, for God to just pour out his protection over him.

On the morning of August 25 - I dropped him off, kissed and hugged him, told him I'd see him later, then drove off to school. All the way to school I was praying, "God please, don't let him roll to this stomach, keep him on his back when's sleeping" over and over I prayed that prayer. Surely, God would spare him if he rolled over or help him breathe if he was in distress. Surely, SURELY God would heed my prayer. Not that day.

It was sudden (thank God), quick, painless, without struggle, and most important to me (I guess because I'm his mother) he wasn't scared. I have only seen him scared 2 or 3 times, and I couldn't stand it! Oh, to see your baby scared....it just kills you, but at the same time fulfills you because you know they just need YOU! And to think that he could have been scared during his last moments of life would have just killed me because in those moments, he needed ME.

SIDS, though, is sudden and quick. A friend of mine shared something with me recently on an image that came to her one day. She was out visiting her mother's grave, which happens to be across from Ayden's, and she said this image came to her of Ayden is that in-between state in sleep....half awake...half asleep....and in what she saw, she saw Ayden "sleepy" and Jesus reaching his hand out for Ayden, and Ayden taking his hand....and so gently, Ayden went with Jesus. He didn't know where he was, he didn't know what was happening, but he knew he felt peace, love, and joy in that moment...so he followed.

Many of you probably read my blog and think I'm struggling with faith because one day I'll be all about Heaven and God and plans, wills, purposes, etc. and the next I'll be so down, hopeless, and defeated. Grief is so complex. At one moment, I can feel so uplifted and encouraged at the idea of seeing my little boy again. The next, the human side of me kicks in, and my human heart aches for the loss that it feels, my body aches because I no longer have him to fill my arms, I become enraged at the whole situation and continue to ask why me? why me? It goes from one dynamic to the other. It's grief - it's real, it's raw, it's healing, it's hard, it's a process, and we are working through the process.

On another note, we met a little baby tonight by the name of Jonah Riley Sams. Our good, good friends Patrick and Anna have been waiting on this little guy to make his appearance, and we've been keeping up with them throughout this entire process!! Today, Jonah finally decided to make his appearance, and he is a cutie. :) I'm so excited about keeping him when Anna goes back to work! We're going to have so much fun. Please keep them in your prayers as they make the adjustments that new parents have to make....lack of sleep....a little life to take care of, clean up after, etc. ....added stress. They're going to be great parents. Congrats guys!

And, on one more note, I met another little cutie today - at the animal shelter. :) Her "shelter name" is Carrie. I think that's going to have to change. She is a yellow lab, small for a lab (perfect size for our yard), so playful and sweet, cute floppy ears - the perfect dog to take me on walks! The perfect dog to keep in the backyard! I first met her Saturday when I was having a down day, and this dog was the ONLY thing that made me smile that day. I can usually walk past these animals on Saturdays at PetSmart and say yeah, you're cute, but I don't need you..... This one keeps tugging at me. She just seems so happy to see me! (I'm sure she does that with everyone) The task: talk Jeremy into her. We will have to consider finances and where she fits into that - dog food, vet visits, getting a dog house, and if we move...can we find a place with at least a little bit of a yard for her. We'll see. I'd love to give her a home because she would be the perfect pet!

Click here to see her - let Jeremy know what you think!

Please be in prayer for us tomorrow. Tomorrow makes 4 weeks since Ayden went to Heaven. These days are usually difficult and entail memories of that day. The 25th will be a month since our little man has been away from us. We are making it, day by day. Each day brings a new challenge. We are still hurting, still aching, still remembering. Please remember us this week....

Thank you.


  1. "Carrie" is too adorable. I hope you can have her - did you get her already? My belief is that some things help heal, some things are necessary. Carrie may be necessary. She may be part of your healing process. I hope you get her and I hope you are comforted every day. It may come in small doses or in large ones, but God loves you and loves Jeremy and loves sweet Ayden. He is there for you and will comfort you. I am praying for you.

  2. Hi Lindsay & Jeremy,

    I think that Carrie is adorable! I pray that God provides a way for you two to giver her a loving home. I continue to think of you both daily, and I pray for you each day. I saw an entire "swarm" (not sure of the term for a group) of beautiful yellow butterflies yesterday, and my mind immediately went to Ayden, and to you and Jeremy. Just wanted to let you know I love you guys and am praying for you and your family.

    Amanda Murray

  3. Thank you, Lindsey, for sharing! I hope Carrie can come home with you! What a great friend!

    Today is the 25th. Thank you, God in Heaven, for giving Ayden Brooks to Linsdey and Jeremy. He was a spark, he lit a fire, one that we are grateful for. Give Lindsey and Jeremy grace and mercy today and everyday. Show them the path you have for their lives, show them the path you gave Ayden. Help them to find peace in their hearts, and reward them, one day soon, with an eternity in paradise with their Lord, their Savior, their Purpose, and their loving, precious, perfect little boy. Thank you for loving them, giving them a hope and a future. In your name I pray, Amen.

  4. oh, lindsey, she has such a sweet face! during the time where i wasn't working and wasn't having much luck finding work, i would look at petfinder in between interviews and on long afternoons. i knew we weren't ready to have a kid, but i just loved the idea of having a dog to cuddle with and take on walks and to the dog park, etc. she's already up to date on shots and spaying, and honestly, that was the most expensive part of getting pepper. i'm a huge supporter (as long as tucker is willing to play nice :) )

  5. Carrie is adorable. Are you totally opposed to keeping her in the house though? Animals sometimes have a really great gift of comfort.. maybe because they don't try to tell you what to do or make up solutions for you... they just listen.

  6. "Carrie" is a beautiful dog. I hope that you will be able to give her a "fur-ever" home!!

  7. Have you been back to collect Carrie and bring her home? What a sunny, happy dog! One can't help but smile looking at her.

  8. I think you should get the lab. We have a 5 year old yellow lab and she is the sweetest thing. We had fertility problems and didn't know if we would ever have a child so I begged my husband for a dog to help take away some of the pain and it would give me something to "baby" and take care of. She helped in so many ways!! She is now great with my daughter. Dogs have a way of putting a smile on your face and making you laugh even when your not in the mood.

  9. I really hope you and Jeremy are able to swing it and bring Carrie home. You and Jeremy need her, and she needs both of you.

    I'm glad you are able to pour your heart out here on your blog, and I was glad to see Jeremy write something also. I hope he realizes people think of of him too when they write to you.

    I'm still searching for those comforting words to say. What can one say to parents who lost a four month old?? Just know you two are in my thoughts daily and I pray you can find the courage and strength to make it through another day without your precious Ayden...one day at a time.

  10. I LOVE "Carrie"!!! We are actually in the process of looking for a doggy too. Everybody should have a dog, they're great!I have always thought dogs are a gift from God, and they show us the true meaning of unconditional love!!!

    One day we will be with our boys, and that is exciting to think about!

    I am thinking of y'all at this time. Please let me know if I can do anything.


  11. I hope you do get the dog...Carrie is a lovely name! I think it would do you so much good to have a little creature to care for again. Nothing can replace Ayden, not a dog, cat, or even another baby. But I'm sure a big part of your loss is the daily caring for another being, and maybe Carrie can fill that hole just a little.