Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
First, I want to tell you I love you and that today has been a whirlwind of emotions that I have not felt in a long time. I wanted to take time to finally write you since I have not been active since May of last year. For many months I have been numb and not sure how to share my feelings or express them, it’s extremely hard to force myself to miss you, most of the time I have to think very hard for a memory to allow my heart to “feel something” since we only knew each other a short time after your mom delivered you. I don’t know you at all, I don’t know what it’s like to have a son around our home. The empty feeling that is inside of me and that I share with the nursey you would have been in, it’s a very long process and I continue to push through and I know you are watching over me.
Today, your mom and Grandma (Karen) boxed up the stuff in the room we had for you. I helped your Grandpa (Don) take apart the crib that they had passed down to us which was the same one your mom used when she was a baby. They kept it in their garage for 28 years and it’s in perfect condition, they don’t make cribs like this anymore. It’s solid oak wood and has the foot step to lower the side bars on either side. As I started disassembling the parts I cried for you, knowing that the next time we use it, one of your brothers or sisters will be blessed with it.
Last night talking to your mom I told her that since the nursery had been empty for so long, it wouldn’t really impact me since her and I grieve differently with losing you. That wasn’t the case. I found myself thinking about the items in the nursery being packed away, that this was a turning point for us and part of “moving on” sort to speak. I understand that the action of what we are doing is healthy, but today had an impact on me, which I am glad it did.
Your Grandma Jan
Recently, as you know, your Great Grandma, Jan Lauterjung, came home to heaven to be with Jesus. Hopefully you have had a chance to say hi to her and ask her all of the horror stories she has about me. Trust me, there are plenty ;). She was 94 years old and had the attitude of a sarcastic teenager which made her incredibly fun to chat with. She passed away in her sleep peacefully. Your Mom and I were able to see her before Christmas when we visited the Little Sisters of the Poor, where she lived in the last few months taming her stage four cancer with a smile on her face.
During our conversation with Grandma Jan, I reached for my phone so we could take a picture of the three of us and what happened? I broken the white plastic chair I was sitting in. It split into roughly 5-6 pieces and we all had a good laugh. That was the last memory your Grandma Jan had of your Mom and I, it was incredible, I will never forget it. I love her very much and when you see her, tell her Alex and Marie say hi :).
Talking at WordCamp DFW
Your are stronger than you know and have impacted so many people. During WordCamp DFW in November, your Mom and I were able to speak and share your story. It was a passionate, open discussion about how we handled our grief and turned to writing. It was a pleasure and honor to use the experience your Mom and I went through from losing you to be transparent with a desire to connect with others that might be feeling alone. It was not easy, I cried on stage and lost it at one point when it was my turn to talk.
Afterwards we were approached by multiple people who were touched by the topic and wanted to chat. The response was overwhelming and I never thought I would be hugging a grown man who attended a WordPress event while crying about a talk I just gave, truly a blessing, no words can describe it. We went home understanding that the opportunity we had accomplished was only the beginning and a small part of what’s to come. God has will use you, your story, and us for his Glory.
Learning to have strength
Colton, life for myself has been not easy the past 8 months. I am seeing a psychologist every week to help me through some things that I have been holding onto for many years of from my past. You would be very proud of me though, it has helped bring a lot of clarity as to the reason why I have been acting the way I do. Your mom has also been my partner in crime, being there for me right by-my-side. She is an amazing woman and I can tell you that she is going go to be an incredible mother to your future brother or sister.
I continue to pray for you at times and know that you are watching over us. I do ask that you pray for me little man for continued encouragement to deal with things in my life and moving forward no matter what. This passed year knocked me down and I was a hermit for a long time, for that I am sorry. However, God is good and patient. He gives us all grace and delivers things in our life when we least expect it.
Thank you for making me a better man to my friends and family, a better father to you and our future kids, and better husband to my wife and your mother.
Such a sweet post, Alex! Thank you for sharing! I had a very similar reaction this past weekend. I didn’t think I would have a hard time opening the monthly gifts I had bought for Colton and placing them in storage. After opening the gifts, I had a really hard time bagging them up and driving to the storage unit but I am glad that I allowed myself to cry. So, thanks for sharing how much God has grown you through losing Colton…I am so proud of you and the amazing growth in so many areas of your life and truly trusting in God to soften your heart. Love ya!