I'll catch up....soon....

I promise I'm going to post about the retreat soon. There's so much I think I want to say, I just have to decide how much of it I want to write about. I'm still processing it all.

Today I made my annual trip to Grifton, NC for the Shad Festival parade. Sadly, that's the only time I ever visit the town known as "The Family Town." However, I have at least made it to Grifton's festival. I have yet to make it to the Collard Festival in Ayden. One day...I'll make it.

If you're wondering....shad is a type of fish.

So, I told my mom she HAD TO go to the parade and take in the atmosphere that is the Shad Festival. So, she came.....as well as my sister and my aunt. This is my third year going to the Shad Festival, so I have my routine down. I know where to park....where to stand for the parade...where to find the good food....all of it. I love it! We always watch the parade with the same people - the Tucker Family. Candi Tucker is one of my very best friends and also a co-worker. She has been my rock without even knowing it. I love that we met by chance (well, I don't consider it chance....God knew I'd need her even at the moment we met), and we immediately became good friends. And good friends turned into a lifelong friendship.

The parade was good, but long. The longest parade I've ever sat through. That isn't such a terrible thing, though, because it was great to see the participation. However, I get bored easily, so after the third group of Sudan drivers came through and then the 15th souped up, pimped out car drove by.....I was done with the parade. However, I don't organize it, so it's not up to me. My favorite part is seeing the students from our school involved. It's so great to teach in a small town because our students have an appreciation for their community that many these days don't. I love being about to see them enjoying a Saturday at a festival......it's a much better alternative to what they could be doing.

Throughout our whole time there, I kept trying to push sad thoughts from my mind. This time last year, we were a week away from Ayden's arrival. We had gone to the festival to buy Ayden his first Shad Festival shirt - the shirt he was going to wear at this year's festival. It broke my heart to see all the kids and babies around us....and mine wasn't there. All I could think about that was that t-shirt, hanging in the closet, never worn......and him not being there to see the parade and enjoy the atmosphere.

My mom, my sister, and myself were sitting together at dinner tonight just talking about him. That's the first time, I think, I've been able to do that. I couldn't get too detailed in my conversation because then it would have turned into a meltdown, but I was able to talk about him and hold it together. But, memories came back that I hadn't remembered in a while. I recalled singing him to sleep on nights when nothing else would sooth him. In those moments, only two songs came to my mind - "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Usually, he would calm right down and fall right to sleep. I sang to him often while I was pregnant, so I like to think that my voice was very soothing to him. I also recalled all his little features....like the swirl in the front of his hairline (I guess it would have been a cow-lick), his dimples...and the one little dimple he had that was just like mine.....the dimple in his chin, which he also got from me.....how one of his eyes was bigger than the other - just like mine....and that sweet smile that everyone says is my smile. Then I thought about those longs fingers and toes....his long torso and high chest....and those long legs....all just like his Daddy. He had/has the best temperament....so laid back, easy going, but also knows what he wants and how he wants it. Luckily, he got all of that from us, so we could read him so well. Whenever he became fussy or out of sorts, people would say, "What does he want?" We knew exactly what he wanted. You know what warms my heart the most? The one thing he usually wanted/needed - me. I miss that so much. I miss being able to calm him down, knowing that all he needed was his mommy. I often think about the day he left us, and I don't share this much (because it tears me up), but I often wonder if he was scared, and if all he needed/wanted was for me to be there holding him. Now, logically, I know he had no idea what was about to happen. I know it happened so quickly that he coudn't have known what was happening, but still....I wasn't there. I wasn't there to tell him I loved him or to kiss him and hug him and squish my cheek against his (oh, I miss that).

I hate that I have to think of my beautiful baby and say, "I miss that."

So, today, although is was a good day considering how it could have gone, was also just one of those days when I remember him and everything I miss so much....and everything we are missing out on with him.

Most people, at this point, would say, "But you have so much to look forward to with Collen. Think of it that way." You'd be right - yes we do. But until you've been in our shoes and you've lost a child, especially in the way that we did, you couldn't possibly understand why I can't even let myself visualize or even expect to see Collen at 5 months, 8 months, 1 year, 3 years, etc. My mind won't even process that right now. So, yes, we have a lot to look forward to with Collen, but after that thought, in my mind I always hear "....I hope." All we can do is hope that God grants us that, but we've learned that we aren't promised anything. And as much as I'd love to believe that God wouldn't allow it to happen again, He could. And that thought terrifies me so much....and has given me plenty of nightmares. I don't know that I've had a pleasant dream about Collen yet. I've had three dreams, and in each one, we lose him. No woman should have those dreams during her pregnancy....no woman should have to live with the very real fear of losing her child. It just shouldn't happen. But it does.....and I can't begin to understand why.

However, God understood why. He chose this for us, and I ask myself why every day. But for some reason, we were chosen. We were chosen to be Ayden's parents, which has been the highlight of my life and will be my proudest moment, and we were chosen to have him for a short time. I don't know why God thought we were capable of handling it, but He did. And if He trusts us with something like this, I have to believe He knew what He was doing (even when I have no clue). I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, as I've said many times lately, this month is going to be a whirlwind month. So, just keep us in thought and prayer. It means so much to us.....

OH - if you've made it this far, bless you.....but I have one more thing. On Ayden's birthday, we will be releasing balloons in memory of him. We would love for you to join us in celebrating with us by releasing a balloon in honor of Ayden on that day - Tuesday April 27, 2010. If you'd like to do it at the time he was born - that would be 3:36, but any time will work. I feel like our blog readers have become a part of our life with Ayden and have come to know us and him so well. If you'd like to share in this day with us, please do....and if you could take a picture and send it to us, we would love that! Thank you for loving Ayden and for remembering him the impact he made in such a short time. I never knew a little baby could change so many lives and express his love so freely, but he did it....and it amazes me more and more each day.

Also, my friend Allison has just started a blog, and she wrote about Ayden today. You can check it out here.




  1. hi i just wanted to leave a comment of another blog i read that is going through life similarly to you guys. not sure if you already read her but they have a great blog... http://thespohrsaremultiplying.com/

  2. We will most definitely join you in releasing balloons on his birthday. We would be so honored to share that with you.
    Keeping you all in our prayers.

  3. Yes if your wondering I made it all the way to end of the post!
    I truly understand everything...yes you have lots to look forward to with a new baby...you are no longer living in a bubble that everything is always perfect! It hurts when you see your other children hitting mile stones that he never hit. You are so happy for that child but, it crushes you and makes you so sad as well. One of my kids broke his leg a couple of times and I thought I will never see Sage get a cast on his leg! I thought how selfish I am, to want him here having to suffer a broken leg and not in Heaven! Then I thought owell the fact remains I want my baby here most of the time! Another son, learned to ride a bike yes another one of those moments...happy for Wayne... missing Sage again.
    I usually have the new baby's room all painted and ready to go by now. This baby...nope have not even picked out a name...I think I wonder if that name will look good on a headstone? Why bother buying stuff...it is just going to sit in a room with no one to use the stuff. I finally bought an outfit today...9 month old outfit...here is to hoping she gets to wear it! I pray it does not sit in the closet with the tags still on it because, she never got to wear it.

    Okay, yes I think I just had a small pity party over here in the Arizona desert! Blame the heat! These are what I call my "crazy lady thoughts"! I have a tons more Faith than that! I have to believe she will get to stay!

    Honestly, this month is going to be very difficult and it is going to hurt. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I say celebrate everything wonderful and glorious about Ayden. He does have an amazing Mother and Father that love him very much! I guarantee you that he misses his Mom as much as you miss him. He needs you everyday!

    I hope it is okay that I read your blog. I have made many friends with other grieving Mothers, but none of them understand the SIDS thing. How scary SIDS really is. Just because, they gave this baby a clean bill of health gives me no peace of mind that she will get to stay. I know that you understand this more than most.

  4. Thanks for sharing as always. . . Praying for you. I will plan on releasing a balloon for him that day! :)

  5. Lindsay...the tears just fell and fell when reading this. Actually knowing you and seeing all of those pictures of Ayden and hearing about him from your lips...truly, I'm just so heartbroken for you as you miss that precious little boy. I am beyond thrilled for the blessing of Collen...but know that a piece of your heart and soul are missing and I hate that for you.

    Many, many prayers and so much love for you, friend!

  6. Hey Lindsay and Jeremy, I will definitely release a balloon to celebrate Ayden's birthday at 3:36!
    Also, I enjoyed the Shad Festival but enjoyed my day with just us girls even more. Love You, Aunt Tricia

  7. Of course you look forward to making wonderful memories with Collen, but you will never forget those wonderful memories you have of Ayden. One will never replace the other, nor should it. Ayden has touched so many lives and continues to do so. He will be remembered by many on his special day and we'll say a special prayer for you and your husband.

  8. I will be releasing a balloon in memory of Ayden here in England on 27 April. I will take a photo of it and send it to you. Thinking of you often. xx

  9. I've never commented before (I found your blog through Patrice's) but this afternoon I saw a bunch of balloons floating away and I immediately thought of Ayden. Then I noticed that there were six balloons in the bunch and that today is six days before his birthday. Thinking of your sweet boy and praying for you.