Memories of Ayden...

Before I get to the real reason behind my post, I want to address a few things first.  I first want to thank everyone for the kind words, messages, comments, cards, flowers, etc.  Knowing that others are thinking of us and praying for us brings us a little comfort and peace each day.  So many people...people we don't know and will probably never meet....have told us how much their lives have been touched by Ayden and us.  People keep telling me, "You won't believe how many people across the country and the world have heard your story and are thinking of/praying for you."  While I think that's wonderful and amazing, part of me stings each time I hear those words.  Because, the reason people are thinking of us and being touched by this is because our son died.  The aching mother in me wants to say, "Great...but my son is dead. He isn't coming back. So forgive me if I don't quite join in on the amazement."  The words "Ayden" and "dead" are not synonymous to me.  Each day is up and down, and I don't understand how I can even have moments when my mind strays from him.  I don't mean any of this to be taken negatively - please continue to share with us how our story has touched you.  We want to know how God has touched you through Ayden.  It's just a natural, human reaction. I hope that is understandable.  Just please understand where we are coming from....  This isn't something you get over in a week...2 weeks...2 years....  It's going to be a long road with many bumps, detours, and road blocks.  However, we continue to trust that God will see us through this....somehow.

Now to the real reason for this post....

A fellow blogger left me a comment about what she did after her grandson (? - I've read so many comments - forgive me if this is wrong) died.  She started writing down memories so she wouldn't forget them.  So, that is what I want to do here....

1.  Ayden's smile:  Ayden first smiled at around 4 weeks old (he did everything early) at Jeremy.  I remember thinking, "Why didn't he smile at me first?!"  I remember thinking, what a beautiful smile...just as every mother does.  Once he smiled for the first time, he continued to do it all the time.  I think he realized how happy it made us.  I miss that smile...  He would smile SO BIG for Jeremy.....he loves his daddy.  He would smile at me too, but I think because he saw me all the time...he got used to seeing my didn't have the effect Jeremy's had.  He would smile at anyone....and believe me, it made a lot of peoples' days....I know it.  He made everyone feel special.

- One specific smile memory:  Every Sunday night, we meet with our small group.  I tried to make as many as i could, but it's tough when small group starts at 6 and your child starts getting sleepy and testy at 7....  Anyway, I brought Ayden one night after he had had a good nap that afternoon.  Jeremy was holding him and was trying to make him laugh.  Jeremy tried lots of things and then finally started bumping his forehead against Ayden's.  Ayden thought it was hilarious and just giggled away.  Needless to say, we all watched Ayden and laughed instead of focusing on what we were supposed to be talking about.  He always had a knack for captivating his audience.

2. Gas - From the day he was born, Ayden was a gassy baby.  I mean....manly gas.  It didn't phase him, either.  He would just let it go.  We would laugh and laugh at him.  Sometimes he'd get those legs pumping and the gas would just keep coming. funny and cute.

3.  Bringing Ayden home - we were scared to death.  I remember wishing the nurses could go home with us and help us.  I have always been comfortable with babies, but for some own scared me.  I was afraid to do something wrong. I quickly learned, they don't care.  All you have to do is love them.  I didn't give Ayden his first mom did. I was afraid he'd slip from my hands.  He cried all the way through his first few baths.  But, once I got the hang of it....he LOVED bath time, and so did I.  I looked forward to every other night because it was bath night.  There is NOTHING like holding a naked baby.  That soft skin....those dimply cheeks....

4. Our "talks" - from the start, Ayden was a vocal baby.  Again, he did everything early.  I remember reading that by 2 months, they MIGHT be able to say "Ah-goo"  Ayden did that at 6 weeks old.  With each week, he was adding new sounds.  I talked to him all the time, I guess that's why.  He would look at you so intently....curl those eyebrows...and just go to he had something to tell you and you were going to listen.  If you've seen his "Celebration" video...the clip of Jeremy holding him and him "talking" to Jeremy - that's what I just described.  We had so many of those "conversations."  I could tell that he was pleased by the way we reacted to him - I guess he thought we got what he was saying.

4. The "pat" - In the past few months, Ayden started exploring with his hands and his mouth.  My favorite way he did this was the way he would pat his left hand on anything he could.  It was as if he was slapping whatever it was as hard as he could.  Usually, it was our hand because we didn't want him to hurt himself.  He had also started trying to grasp things  - like logos on your shirt. I loved watching him explore....I was amazed by how inquisitive he was...he was going to be a genius.

5. The laugh - it wasn't frequent, which makes it so much more precious.  It took a lot to get Ayden to laugh.  It was hard to surprise him. "Peek-a-boo" was not entertaining to him....I think he felt insulted by it. haha  He was too smart for it.  The times we did get him to laugh, though, were awesome - absolutely the best laugh in the world.  It made us feel so good....knowing we made him so happy....and just that he was  a happy baby.  So happy.

- Specific laugh memory - Last Sunday, the 23rd, I put Ayden in his high chair and put a big, plastic bib on him.  I had recently started feeding him rice cereal from a spoon every now and then just to get him used to it - for practice.  I went into the kitchen to get his rice cereal ready and all of a sudden I hear him giggling.  I looked over at him and he was playing with his bib, just laughing away.  The most precious giggle.  I looked at him and said, "Hey you, what's so funny over there?" He just looked over at me and grinned.  It was as if he was saying, "Mommy, you are so silly...this bib is way too big for me."  I will cherish that....forever. It was such a precious, priceless moment.

6. The poop face - The one-of-a-kind poop face.  I've never seen another baby do it, and I can only hope that one of our future children makes the same face.  He was an expressive baby. He made so many faces...from the day he was born.  So much personality - he was just like me in that way.  As a child, I was full of personality...never knew a stranger....Ayden was the exact same way.

7.  The way he would cling - Since Ayden had recently starting holding his head up really well and had gotten stronger in his back, he was able to keep himself steady if you held him with one arm.  Well, he was still working on the balance thing, so he would get wobbly at times and it would startle him.  He would cling to whatever he could, which was usually the collar of your shirt....or your hair....anything.  I miss that so much....I think because it was his way of saying, "You make me feel safe.  I know you will hold on to me."  I would always say, "I've got worries.  I won't let you fall."  

8. The bounce - recently, Ayden had starting bouncing in my arm when I'd pick him up to carry him to another room.  He would bounce that bottom and bury his head in my neck and coo or laugh.  I don't know what he found so funny, but it always made my morning (it was usually in the morning that he did that).  It was as if he was so happy to be awake and in our arms.

9. - "Where's the Baby?" - Ayden's favorite game.  He loved looking in the mirror at himself and just smiling away.  He knew he was seeing one handsome little baby.  We would hold him and look into a mirror and say, "Where's the baby?"  And he'd look at himself and just smile and laugh and get so shy acting...he'd look away or bury his face in our shoulders.  Then he'd look again and wait for you to say, "Where's the baby?"  Then he'd smile and laugh again.  

10. His joy - he was just a happy baby.  He only cried when he was super, super exhausted or when he was super, super hungry.  He was such an agreeable baby....and patient, most of the time.  He loved to wake up in the morning...all smiles and energy.  He loved to have his diaper changed - I think because he could just lay there and kick and kick and kick.  We'd let him lay there and kick and he loved it.  He always seemed to believe he was going somewhere fast when he got those legs going. He loved it....  it was so cute.  He loved to smile, laugh, explore, observe, give kisses and hugs, and spend time with mom and dad.

We cherish these memories and so many more.  These are just a few of the general memories.  4 months doesn't seem long, but for 118 Ayden was a part of our lives, and we have 118 days worth of memories in our minds.  118 glorious, happy, wonderful, meaningful, cherished, treasured days.  I could torture myself every day and ask, "Why did God take a baby that was so loved, blessed, wanted....from parents who loved him so much?"  I can't do that to myself.  I consider it an honor to be given such a gift.  Someone recently said, maybe Ayden was just too precious for this world.  I believe that.  I also believe that God may have spared him from something worse.  Ayden has done everything we hoped for him in this world - of all things we wished for him, the most important was for him to be used by God, in some way, to touch this world and make a difference.  While we didn't mean for him to touch people in this way, God knew 13 months ago that this would happen and that Ayden would be touching lives in this way.

We never imagined this.  It was the last thing we ever wanted to happen.  We miss Ayden more and more each day.  Each day comes with more pain, more tears, and an increased feeling of loss and emptiness.  I have to rest in God's promises, though.  My faith will continue to be strong because it's the only hope I have.  

Please continue to keep us in your prayers.  Pray for us to find peace.  Pray for us to not feel guilty for trying to find some sense of normalcy again (although that will take some time).  Pray for us to find hope through our faith.  Just pray.


  1. I loved getting to hear more about Ayden's personality. Such a sweet boy loved by so many. Mrs. Jones i continue to pray for ya'll and never forget those beautiful memories.

  2. Lindsey and Jeremy--

    I do not know you, and I don't even know the person I got your link from (Jonah's blog), but I wanted you to know that our family is praying for your family. I am a believer in Christ and know that Ayden is in a better place, but it's so not fair that he was taken so soon. We have a 6 month old daughter and cannot imagine what you are going through. None of this is fair at all. It makes me cry thinking about your pain you are going through. Please know that so many people in Texas are praying for you--again, I don't even know you but feel connected to you. Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do. Blessings, Lindsey, Michael & Natalie Grace Boggs

  3. What a great idea to start writing down memories! May you continue to remember more and more as the days go on and I'm sure you will. God bless

  4. So glad you're doing this, writing your memories of him.

    You know, there was a time in my life that I needed the Lord closer to me than ever, and I just couldn't focus. It was then that I asked Nate to just read the Bible to me. I couldn't even focus on reading it myself, but he would sit beside me and just read. Sometimes we would discuss, other times not. But having him support me in that way was such a blessing and it carried me through that rough time. Just thought I'd share that.

  5. My dear sister and brother in the Lord--I pray that Jesus would lift you up in His arms and hold onto you so tightly, just like you held onto Ayden. I pray that the Holy Spirit would be a profound comfort to your hearts. I pray that you both would find hope and peace as you grieve during the weeks and months ahead.

  6. Beautiful words Lindsay, I feel as if I was there in the room watching all those memories as you described them, and the one thing I must agree on is that he is a handsome baby boy. Every time I have seen him or even a picture of him I have always thought, now that is a beautiful baby! I am also admiring your strength and courage, I am not sure I could be as strong as you and Jeremy have been.

  7. That's a great idea to start writing down the memories of him. I wish I would have wrote down memories of my mom. It's been a little of 10 years now since she has passed, and many of them I have forgotten. It will help a lot to remember those sweet precious memories when the world isn't looking so great. -Amanda (from Lifeway)