I can't believe Owen is over 3 weeks old already. Time has flown by. So have all the struggles. Re-learning all the little baby signs and signals and Owen's own signals has gone pretty smooth. Getting used to seeing Chase in this little boy and missing him every time I look into Owen's beautiful little eyes, thinking about him. I've been letting myself think of those heart-wrenching moments of Chase's life lately. I'm not sure why. There were some extremely sad moments during that week back in April of 2009 that I have not let my mind visit for quite a while. And when I did, only for fleeting moments and then shifted to something else. The pain is fresh. Raw. And it's peculiar how my mind can conjure up such emotion without notice sometimes. The memories are there and resurface at some of the weirdest times sometimes. But as many painful moments as there are, I try to think of the beautiful memories, too. Even the fact that I have an angel son in Heaven.
I just read Heaven is For Real, by Todd Burpo. My sister found the book and left it behind in Albuquerque when Owen was born and I'm so glad she did. It's a story about a little boy who had emergency appendectomy and visited Heaven while he was sedated. I think this story touches a lot of people, but is special particularly to those of us who have suffered miscarriage and baby loss. We struggle a lot with imagining our babies faces and what the look like, who they might look like and to hear this little boy's story of what heaven is like, how Jesus really, really loves the little children, what he did while he as in heaven and who he saw and all the little children he saw.....it is comforting. The question of whether or not to believe the story, whether it is true or not, is almost abandoned. It is such a beautiful story, I want to believe it and do.......wondering how can I not believe it??? Through the eyes of a child and told this way, it is everything I want Heaven to be...questions answered maybe. This little boy is not scared of dying, because he knows what is next for him. And though I have felt this way before, knowing i will get to see Chase again, I am comforted a little more hearing this story and what Heaven is really like.....or so this story describes.
I am still getting used to this life. I remember for a long time being in my car and every time I looked in the back seat, I missed seeing the car seat and Chase in it. It was a very painful reminder and constant. I looked at my 3 kids and saw them, but more so saw who wasn't there. Taking that car seat out of the car when we left the hospital is one of those painful memories that I wouldn't let myself remember....until we took Owen out of the hospital and put him in that very car seat. It was cathartic in ways, sad.....yet happy. I sobbed as I buckled Owen into Chase's seat....the one he never got to use. Now, I am still getting used to seeing that car seat in the back seat of the car. Some days I can't believe I have my little boy with me. He's here with us. All the time. I don't know when it will ever get any easier. I will get used to it. But I won't ever stop thinking about the baby who didn't get to use it. The baby who is missing in our car. In our lives. But I will always be thinking about seeing him again. Seeing him in a place much better than this. One day....
Owen with his Chase bear in his brother's outfit.