Many of you might not have noticed this, but when a bailer drives past your window, at midnight, through endless tears, it sounds like a heart beating. The rhythmic sound filled my heart with peace, while I found the strength to find the words I have been looking for since Wednesday.
This is the hardest thing I will ever have to go through. This is the hardest speech I will ever have to give. I have looked many places for guidance in finding the right words for this moment. While deep in prayer and overwhelmed with grief I pleaded with the Lord for help, I pleaded for his guidance and comfort. With clenched fists, and a shattered heart I held my breath waiting for something, anything to help me find my sanity and the will to survive the pain. My youngest son Hunter came busting through the door, he grabbed me by the hand and said,
“Mommy, get up.”
It took one fleeting heart beat to know that I would not hear God answer me in my prayers today, I would not see him with my eyes closed, and I would not feel his love with my knees pressed to the ground alone in a dark room. Although I have a firm faith in the power of prayer, I think we often times spend too much time with our eyes closed and our knees bent while looking for God and faith, and we miss him standing right in front of us. For 6 days I have seen an outstanding showing of support from not only friends and family, but people I’ve never met. When I look at you today, I see God’s love. When you lined up to hug and console my family, I felt God’s warmth. There are no words to describe the gratitude I have towards all of you here today, and those of you who couldn’t be here, but find your heart alongside mine. It is not unnoticed, and it is not without my most sincere gratitude.
I have an image in my mind of an open field that seems to go forever. The sky is a vivid blue with only a few white puffy clouds that float aimlessly in the distant overhead. Every flower that God had ever taken the time to sculpt and paint is strewn in beautiful disarray across a welcome green background. A tiny path has been pushed through the field, and winds from side to side, back and forth across this collage of beauty. Although baby foot prints push the path, not a single flower is crushed, not a single flower is left unappreciated. At the end of the path, is my baby boy. His face is overcome with joy and pride as he bends down to pick…….. a simple dandelion. He picked me; nothing fancy, nothing dramatically unique, but I was perfect for him, and he was perfect for me.
I believe that’s where this journey started. When he decided I was his mommy.
On April 27, 2007 at 10:18 p.m. following 15 hours of induced labor, Kole Jackson Mair came into the world. His first cry changed my life. 8 lbs. 8 oz. he was already a step ahead of the game. He was alert, and strong. He was a veracious eater, and was wrapped in mine and Zach’s love from the moment he arrived. Aside from being dehydrated, exhausted, 19 and terrified, I was elated to have this child in my arms. The first conversation we ever had, following the labor and the pain included me saying the words “Will you be my baby forever.” Tiny fingers clutched my pinky while tears of pure joy streamed down my cheeks. I asked him that question every time I rocked him to sleep.
Many people, when faced with the death of a loved one, go through their memories and pick out the ones they choose to regret. I won’t for a second stand before you today and tell you I didn’t make mistakes as a parent. I lost my temper, I lost my patience. I yelled, and I cried. What I will tell you is that I spent every moment possible making sure my kids knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I love them. We relished in child hood, we found a comfort and a home that is far beyond the possibilities of brick and mortar. I took my boys fishing all summer long, usually with Hunter strapped to my back, and Kole packing his Lightning McQueen pole. We read stories, and I did my best to do funny voices so they would learn to love to read, and feel the story, rather than just hear it. I cried every time I left them somewhere, and I never wanted to be without them. I spent every day teaching my sweet child about life, love, anger, hate, fear, compassion, and empathy. Or at least I thought I was the one teaching.
Son I am listening.
Son I am beginning to understand life, love, anger, hate, fear, compassion, and empathy.
I’m listening to the things that simply can’t be heard. And baby, I won’t let you down.
I won’t even begin to explain to you my pain. I have no interest in sharing it, or letting it go, for now. The only thing stronger than my pain is my love for my son. And I need to feel both, while I try to find a way to live again. For my little friends who are worried I will never be the same. Oh, Sweet babies, I won’t.
My heart will never be the same. Part of it lies in a wooden box, on the side of a hill, watching the clouds in the day, and the stars in the night. But, on the other side of my life’s great tragedy, I will find love and hope that is deeper than I have ever felt before. I will spend more time chasing butterflies, and catching the sunshine. Although I can’t explain my pain, I will explain to you the gifts I have received in the last week. I have a very clear sense of family. This group of people who have banded together to lift my family back to a state of living are phenomenal people who deserve all of the blessings there are to receive. I know what fear is, and I know that I’m not scared. This Earth is a tough one, and as each day passes we must gain the strength to persevere.
I know that love conquers all. And together, we will move mountains. And if we can’t, we will leap frog over them.
I remember the pain I felt on the day you were born, it was intense, and felt like it would never end. But at the end of the hurt and the tears, I was blessed with new life. We must all begin a new process of labor. We will all feel the pain, and cry the tears, but I promise you, when we make it to the end of the labor, there will be new life.
I’ve told many of you this before, and I will tell you again. Hold your babies when your arms are tired. Rock them to sleep, every night. Let them feel mud ooze between their toes, and coat their gentle skin. Skip down the road, even if someone might see you. Try to swing over the bar. Sing at the top of your lungs, with the window down and the radio blaring. When given the opportunity to choose between spending time with your child, and dealing with the logistics of life, pick your child. You will never regret the things you did, but you will always long for the things you didn’t do.
Tiny Angel Author: Unknown
Tiny Angel rest your wings sit with me for awhile.
How I long to hold your hand, And see your tender smile.
Tiny Angel, look at me,
I want this image clear….
That I will forget your precious face Is my biggest fear.
Tiny Angel can you tell me, Why you have gone away?
You weren’t here for very long…. Why is it, you couldn’t stay?
Tiny Angel shook his head, “These things I do not know…. But I do know that you love me, And that I love you so”.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ,