05-08-11 / Mother’s Day 2011 – First one without Thomas….
I had no idea when Mother’s Day was this year, when I found out I was a tad bit devastated. I had no idea that Mother’s Day was going to be the day after we planned to bury our baby; I just knew it would be the worst Mother’s Day ever. I really began to dread this day as much as I dreaded the funeral services. While every other mother is celebrating their children, I was going to have to find a happy medium between celebrating mine and mourning Thomas; seemed impossible. I honestly didn’t think we would make it to church, but Aaron had it in his head that we were going so we did.
We arrived to church early, 10:56 to be exact. We’re normally running into the childcare area to check the kids in and then briskly walking into church around 11:15; got to thinking maybe this was a good sign that we were so early on such an important day. I have never been to a different church for Mother’s Day, I’ve always been at my parents church, sitting with my mom; just couldn’t do it this year. I couldn’t face everyone at their church and then listen to my dad talk about honoring mothers when I had just said goodbye to my son. We walked into the service and the music was already in full force, our favorite part of our church is the music; today was no different. I was doing well, holding it together until one of the ministers got up to invite two families to the front to dedicate their babies and to say a few little words about mothers. As he began to pray, he prayed for those moms that were celebrating their first Mother’s Day with their babies and then those moms celebrating their first Mother’s Day after the loss of their baby; I lost it. It was more than I could take. Never in a million years would I dream that a prayer like that would be directed at me. Never did I think I would be one of those moms celebrating my first Mother’s Day without one of my children; it broke my heart that he was praying for me. Once his beautiful prayer had ended we were able to sing a few more praise and worship songs and ended with “Jesus Paid It All”, which was one of the songs they had performed at Thomas’s service; the water works started up again.
As Brother Nathan got up to speak I wasn’t sure how his message would speak to me. Would it leave me sad? Would it make me happy? Would it make me appreciate what I have instead of focusing on what I’ve lost? Would I even be listening as he spoke or would my mind be elsewhere? I almost didn’t want to listen, I almost wanted to climb back in my car and put my hands over my ears like a toddler, but I didn’t. I can’t say many things stick out to me about that service except this little “story” that he read. I’ve heard it many times before, but this time it ripped my heart out.
A baby asked God, 'They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?' God said, 'Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.'
The child further inquired, 'But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.' God said, 'Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy.'
Again the child asked, 'And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?' God said, 'Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.'
'And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?' God said, 'Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.'
'Who will protect me?' God said, 'Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.'
'But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.' God said, 'Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.'
At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, 'God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name.'
God said, 'You will simply call her, 'Mom.'
You can imagine why this particular “story” would set me over the edge. Let’s pretend that babies do have this conversation with God before they are sent to heaven; how did that conversation go with my Thomas? Did God tell him that he would only briefly meet his angel/mommy and then go straight back to heaven? I didn’t get the opportunity to fulfill all of these things that are spoken of here, but there are a few that I had the honor of fulfilling. God said, “your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you”. I was waiting, looking forward to meeting him and I took care of him the best way I knew how. I, along with his daddy, loved him in the good times and the very bad. I can only hope that was sufficient. The child further inquired, “but tell me, here in heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.” God said, “your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel’s love and be very happy.” I did sing to him, I sang “Hush Little Baby” because Aaden still loves for me to sing that for him. I also sang “Jesus Loves Me” because all little ones should know that song! Again the child asked, “And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language?” God said, “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.” I talked to Thomas nonstop, he heard my voice until he went to be with Jesus; my voice along with his daddy’s. I told him how loved he was and how badly I wanted to keep him. I also told him it was ok to go be with Jesus so he wouldn’t have to hurt any longer. I will never get the chance to teach him how to speak for himself, but without the ability to ever speak a word, that little boy spoke volumes. “And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?” God said, “Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray” I’m so very sad that I will not get to teach him how to pray. I can say he heard his daddy and I pray, he heard us beg for mercy on our sweet baby boy. “Who will protect me?” God said, “Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.” This line cuts me to my core. I did defend my baby, when they told me to terminate I told them no! I will never get the chance to defend him to that mean teacher, or that school bully, or some dumb little girl that will break his heart, but I got to defend his life in the biggest way possible. I feel blessed to have been given that choice so I could proudly say that my baby is still MY baby and a precious human being; I could not give up on my precious gift before God said it was time. “But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore”. God said, “Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.” My sweet Thomas didn’t need any guidance in this area, he knew the way back and found it all on his own. And the child hurriedly asked, “God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.” God said, “you will simply call her, Mom.” The best name in the world, mommy! Every single time I hear Aaden say mommy it makes my heart happy. I cry when I think about how I will never hear Thomas’s voice say that word, but I do know that he knew I was his mommy. I can’t express how many times I said, “Mommy loves you baby boy”. He knew his mommy loved him more than life itself.
I’m not sure I heard much beyond this point. I don’t know if I just shutdown or if I was so focused on the lines in this story that I couldn’t focus on anything else. I had to tell myself that I have things to celebrate; I have children here on earth that love me very much and need me more than Thomas does. Thomas is in the hands of the creator; he is well provided for.
Once we got out of church we hit the road to have lunch with my mom in Orange. We still had tons of family in and enjoyed our time with them. The kids were running crazy as they always are and I was able to watch them, laugh and remember my reasons for loving Mother’s Day. People always say, “Thomas is always with you” or something along those lines. As true as that may be, it’s very hard to understand. I wish it made me feel better to think that he’s always with me, but it doesn’t. I want to kiss his lips again. I want to squeeze him so tight that he gets mad at me. I want to dress and undress him a million times a day. I want to feel his fingers wrapped around my finger. I want to tickle his feet and watch his toes curl. I want to place him on my chest and rock until my legs go numb. Yes, he is always with me in spirit, but I want him here in the flesh too. I know it’s selfish, but on Mother’s Day, and every other day, I miss my baby.