Mama wants you to know this--November 28 is a special day.
It's your brother's birthday, and even if he isn't here with us, I want you to know what an amazing gift our family was given on this day two years ago.
Oh, Luke...he, like you, truly is such a sweet, sweet part of my life.
In such a different, different way.
When Matthew died, I ached. I hurt. I longed to hold my baby and I wept because my arms and heart and everything in me was just empty. It felt like it would never be full again, and really, I guess until we get to Heaven, it won't.
When we found out we were pregnant again with you, hope came back into our lives. My arms still ached and every time I saw a mama give her baby boy a hug or a kiss, I really just felt this pit in my stomach wishing it was ME giving MY baby boy hugs and kisses.
But you gave me hope that one day I WOULD give a baby boy or girl of mine all the love I've wanted to for years.
And when you were born, my arms didn't ache to be filled as much because YOU filled them. You busied my every second and you still fill my days with such joy. I know you think I hug and kiss you too much, but too bad because I have wanted to do that for so, so many years.
I still ache, though. I physically wish I could still hug and kiss Matthew, but what I miss more is who he would be.
I never really missed that initially, I think. I missed the tangible parts of parenting--the sweet baby smells and the soft sighs of contentment. Dressing him up in all the things we'd bought for him and quiet nursing sessions in the middle of the night. Things that I have been so, so grateful to have with you.
Now, as I watch you grow and change into this amazing and funny and charming little boy...
...I wonder who Matthew would be.
What he'd be like.
Before you were born, I said that I felt like you were so much of your daddy...lives for food and likes to just live the good life.
I was SO right!
I had my predictions about what Matthew would be like too.
I miss that I will never get to verify them. I miss knowing what his first word would be...how he'd react when Dixie licked him or what he'd think of Santa Claus and pumpkin pie.
You are growing up so quickly, and with every day, something new happens and you become more and more YOU.
This year, on Matthew's second birthday, I feel pretty sad that I still just don't know HIM. His little life was so brief...but leaves me with what seems like eternity wondering what would have been.
We were able to go back to Maryland this weekend for his birthday. We went to our church, saw our sweet friends, and were able to visit Matthew's resting place. I am so touched by the care that is given to it in our absence, and was so happy to be back 'home' for even just the weekend. I stood in the same pew we always stand in and looked at the altar and thought about how it had looked 105 weekends ago when Matthew's coffin was there. I thought about how much my world stood still at that time and how heartbroken I was.
And how much of my world moves at a crazy speed today and how I am not necessarily heartbroken as I am heart-healing.
You are so much a part of that heart-healing. In fact, the heartbroken really only pours out mostly when I am just consumed with the joy of you. I know that seems weird, but it's true.
I get overwhelmed with emotion because it makes me realize what I am missing with Matthew even more.
I know that to many, the expectation is that two years have passed...you are here now and Matthew's gone and life goes on.
That's all true.
And I think it's pretty obvious by the beaming I am usually displaying whenever you and I are together that I am truly happy and content...even at Matthew's grave, my heart is so joyful because of you.
So knowing how much I adore and cherish you, I think it stands to reason that your brother, even though not with us, is just as adored and cherished.
Because he is. And always will be. As will you.
Luke, don't ever think for one second that you do not have every piece of my heart. You do, without question.
But on November 28, 2009...my heart took on a completely different look and feel...and so it's that heart--the one that misses your big brother so much, yet is so grateful just for what little time I had with him--that's the heart you have.
The heart that will always wonder who he'd be.
From my sweet Pensacola girls. They love you boys so much!
Luke, When mama is gone, will you do me a favor? Please keep eating chocolate birthday cake for Matthew on his birthday. It would make me really happy.
...Even though you had to think about it some tonight!