Monday, January 03, 2011

Due Date

Happy New Year!

It's January 3rd. Three years ago, this was my due date for our third baby, our first son. I remember first thinking it was such a bummer to be due so close to Christmas. Would this baby get the shaft and have his birthday be combined with Christmas each year? Would I even make it to the New Year or would I have a Christmas baby? I remember telling Gary that if we were in the hospital on Christmas Day, I wanted a Christmas tree in my room.

But that little guy never made it to his due date. Since then, each year when his due date rolls around, I can't help but wonder when his birthday would have been. When he died, I felt so guilty for being disappointed that his birthday would be so near Christmas.

What if he had lived? Would I be planning a 3rd birthday party right now? Would he be sitting on the counter helping me stir the batter for his cake? Would his pudgy fingers be dipping into the frosting as I decorate his cake and stick in three candles? Would he be just as excited to open presents today for his birthday as he was just over a week ago on Christmas day?

On days like today when I sink deeper and deeper into the what ifs of the past, inevitably my wonderings are halted as little 2-year-old arms wrap around my leg. A little voice asks for juice and I look down to see big brown eyes staring up at me, framed by long red eyelashes. His messy red hair melts my heart and I'm abruptly brought into the reality of now. And I wouldn't trade it.

The timing is such that if Joshua hadn't died, Brody wouldn't be here. Sure, I wonder what Josh would've been like, but I know what Brody IS like. Life without Brody? I can't imagine it. Life with Josh? I can only imagine. I'll take what I know to be true.

I remember before we lost Josh, imagining a freckled little boy in overalls running through the backyard. His giggles carried on the breeze and he captured my heart. It's such a vivid thought for me. I couldn't wait to meet that funny little boy. He seemed like a "Brody" to me, and I filed that name away as a possibility. When we lost Josh, the name didn't fit anymore. This little boy would never run in my backyard or giggle for the neighbors to hear. We gave him his name, Joshua Dale, so that we'd be reminded that the Lord is good even in the darkest of times. We prayed that his name alone would minister to others so that his life wouldn't be in vain.

When Brody was born, we knew - he was BRODY. We loved the name and it fit him.

One day last spring, I was sitting on the back deck watching the kids play in the backyard, when suddenly I was struck with a major case of deja vu. There he was - my little guy in overalls, running through the backyard.

I ran as fast as my pregnant body would allow, to grab my camera. I captured a couple of blurry shots as quickly as I could. The scene was just as I remembered imagining three years before. I sat on the back steps and tears welled up in my eyes. God is so good. Maybe it was my Brody I'd pictured those years before. In any case, God had given me the little boy I'd longed for so badly after Josh died.

I may not have a three-year-old today, but I have a darling little two-year old who has me wrapped around his little finger. I'll probably always think about Josh on January 3rd each year, but it's as much a reminder of what I don't have, as it is of what I do.

Happy due date, Josh. Your mommy will never forget.

18 comments:

  1. argh. i just had a long comment posted, and it deleted. boo.
    anyway, beautifully stated, angie! such a sweet and real perspective.one that i completely get. minus the deja vu - that was just cool to read! oh, and next time could you subtitle a blog post like this : "Warning:Kleenex needed" thank you. love you, friend.

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  2. Love this post Angie....brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your heart. I love this line you wrote about the due date: "It's as much a reminder of what I don't have, as it is of what I do" Amen!

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  3. Such a beautiful post Angie!

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  4. Love you friend. Very well stated. Sending you BIG hugs!

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  5. You can make a post heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. What a gift and what a lovely perspective.

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  6. I will always remember too. Such a beautiful post, I know that feeling too, made me choke up. Love you friend.

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  7. You have such a way with words Ang - thanks for sharing your heart on this memorable day for you. I praise God that He has given you such a beautiful glimpse of Himself and for the intimate way He speaks to your heart. You are a wonderful Mom...I can see God has made your heart richer because of them. God bless you and Gary in this new year! My wish is to see you again sometime this year. : )

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  8. I agree with Jody...kleenex subtitle would have been helpful :) Thanks for sharing Angie! And tell that cute little red-head hello for us!!! MISS YOU!

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  9. That brought tears to my eyes, Angie. I know today is the 5th, but thinking of you, and saying an extra prayer for you and the family today. miss you!

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  10. That brought tears to my eyes, Angie. I know today is the 5th, but thinking of you, and saying an extra prayer for you and the family today. miss you!

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  11. Oh Angie, such a sweet post and beautiful way to honor your Joshua on his due date. I'm a few days late, but saying a prayer for you and your family, with an added "thank you" for that sweet boy Brody ;)

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  12. I have tears in my eyes!!! The what if's can get you every time. I should be planning a 2nd birthday party for our little angel. I wonder what she would have been like now. How Emmaline would be as a big sister. But I love how you put it all in perspective. You are an amazing mommy to all FIVE of your children!! I am blessed to have you in my life. :)

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  13. I have tears in my eyes!!! The what if's can get you every time. I should be planning a 2nd birthday party for our little angel. I wonder what she would have been like now. How Emmaline would be as a big sister. But I love how you put it all in perspective. You are an amazing mommy to all FIVE of your children!! I am blessed to have you in my life. :)

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  14. Beautiful. Like you, I also have four children but 2 in heaven. I miscarried my first child on March 8 of 1995. My first born came on March 8,1996. It didn't even hit us at first what had happened. God had restored what had been lost.

    Blessings sister!

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  15. You made me cry.
    God never forgets the date either.
    Don't you just love that?
    He loves us with a father's AND a mother's heart.

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  16. I pray that God continues to give you His eternal perspective. I know that it's still hard sometimes but being guarded by the Holy Spirit and only listening to Truth is key. Just want you to know that I'm praying for you and am so glad to hear that you can take delight in the present.

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  17. such a bittersweet post. thanks for sharing, angie. :)

    i actually really needed to read this tonight. really puts things into perspective for me right now. very encouraging and insightful.

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