More to add to the gallery...

You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for continuing to send your pictures of Ayden's name for his name gallery. Take a look at some of the most recent pictures:

Ayden's name in buttons :) - From Davene

I am humbled by her words in the post linked above. She gets it. She understands why I cling to these pictures of Ayden's name. It keeps his memory alive...makes him meaningful to those who take a moment to do this for a person they've never met. Tonight, I'm thanking God for kind people like Davene...someone I probably will never meet, but somone I truly treasure.

Candles and a doggy treat (for Gracie!) - Shana: Wisconsin

Shana had a night at home to herself, so she chose to take these and send them to me. Again....humbled. Humbled that she even took time to think of me...someone she doesn't know...and take pictures in honor of our sweet Ayden. So touching....

The last couple days have been the hardest yet. It just hurts. There's no better way to explain it. I miss him desperately. And going through each day and seeing life moving around me is a constant reminder about once was and what now is. I tried to go to sleep without help last night. Big mistake. I've been able to do it a few times, but those were on "good" (yeah...define good...) days. I ended up lying in bed sobbing for an hour until I gave up and took an ambien. I don't want to need it, but I don't think I have a choice right now. I can defintitely go without it. It isn't a question of dependence. It just takes the edge off just enough and allows me to drift off.

Jeremy and I visited Ayden's spot today. I can not say the following words: cemetary, grave, dead, funeral in conjunction with Ayden. His name and spirit should not be relative to those terms. Ever. So, I use: memorial park, spot, lost, celebration service. When we got there, a procession was pulling in. I'm working out my thoughts for a blog post about the green tents in the memorial park. They affect me now like never before. I'll save those thoughts for later, though. Ayden's marker was recently installed, and Jeremy hadn't had a chance to see it. It's bittersweet to see his name on that marker. It's beautiful and nice to see your child's name so wonderfully displayed, but the circumstances and reason behind it are terrible. We have accepted all the help people have wanted to give us. We are truly humbled by the acts of generosity, grace, kindness, and selflessness people have displayed. We know people want to do whatever they can to make this easier. We accept help in every area except with Ayden's spot. I am so extremely protective over it. The one thing I can do for him is to make sure it is kept up and that he has pretty flowers by his spot. As his mother, it's the only thing I have left that I can do for him. So, I check on it once or twice a week, make sure the flowers look good, and I just spend time there....usually looking up towards the sky. I don't really talk to him there because I'm not connected with him there. He isn't there. I do connect with him at his garden we planted at the church. That is also a place where I accept little help. We planted the garden in his honor because it was something we, as his parents, could do for him. I will talk to him there, and I will smile, laugh, and cry for him there. It has held up well despite the up and down weather we've had lately. It does my heart good to see those flowers continuing to bloom....

If I took one thing away from the sermon this morning, it was that death has no victory here. Therefore, I will not give death the victory by using words that it is associated with....especially when it comes to my son. He is alive in Christ. He is waiting for us. He is laughing and smiling and enjoying so much more than we could have ever offered to him in this ugly world. Does that make it okay...better?? Absolutely not. It hurts to be without him. However, the Bible says to be absent from the body is to present with Christ. That is my assurance. I know where Ayden is.....I just can't get to him like I want to. I pray to God to take me...every day...several times a day. Somehow, though, I don't think it's in His plan right now. Which totally stinks. So, while I'm here, I will honor my son by living a life that glorifies God. It's what we would have taught Ayden to do, so that's what we will do. Now, that's easier said than done. It's easy to say what I will do....not so easy to actually do it. We both are deeply hurting, so with that comes bitterness, resentment, anger, and distrust. I think it's only natural. We're working through it, though, and we know that God understands.

The sermon today was hard. Just the title, "Flatline," was hard to swallow. Then, the sermon was opened by the explanation of what to do when someone has stopped breathing. All I could see was Ayden....on that day...and everything that they attempted to do for him. And none of it worked. None of it. The sermon was centered around the promise of Resurrection and how the only way we can live with the assurance of eternity is by accepting Christ. Our pastor spoke of death and why the resulting pain from the death of a loved one is a part of our lives in this world. I'm comforted to have the assurance I have, but that doesn't make it any easier. It's a day by day process....sometimes minute by minute. Eventually, my faith will grow stronger from this. It already has in some ways. There is still a long way to go, though.

If you're interested in reading the basis of today's sermon, you can find it in 1 Corinthians 15. If you'd like to listen to the sermon series it is a part of, you can go to our church's website. This sermon series is called Grace Anatomy. It has been the most powerful series of sermons I've heard Tim preach since we've been attending. I leave every Sunday feeling fed and full.

I guess I've written enough for today. Until tomorrow...


1 comment:

  1. I have a few things to say...

    First, you are so welcome, Lindsay! It was an honor to capture Ayden's name.

    Second, I thought of you during our church service today when we sang the line, "Suffering children are safe in Your arms..." from the song "There Is None Like You." I realize that Ayden wasn't suffering like a child with cancer would be, for example; but the image of him being safe in the arms of Jesus was powerful for me this morning.

    Third, I'm so glad you're getting spiritual food from your pastor's sermons!

    Fourth, I continue to appreciate the way you write about your grief. Thank you for sharing your heart.