A couple of months ago, a friend of mine was speaking in church about the death of her father. She said that over time, the pain hadn’t lessened, but she had gotten better at handling it. I clung to her statement so tightly in my mind that I basically didn’t hear another word she spoke that day. It struck me as so true!
As many of you know, between Brayden and Kaitlyn, we lost a baby boy, Braxston, when I was 20 weeks pregnant (for more about this, see Miscarriage and Stillbirth). It was on this day, in the early morning hours, that I delivered him. He was a tiny little baby who looked absolutely perfect to my eyes. It has now been seven years! And it still hurts. But I am better at handling that pain.
Last year, we started a new tradition of planting a plant in Braxston’s honor. This is what we planted:
The terribly sad thing is that this beautiful plant is struggling to live right now. I guess it is fitting. Last summer was unusually harsh and hot and it really reduced this plant to a tiny thing fighting to live, despite my constant effort to keep it alive. I guess maybe my efforts kept it alive? I don’t even really have a point to that–just that it is bitterly sad. I am hoping it will pull through and grow to be the beautiful plant I want it to be to remind me of my lost son–something that brings a smile to my face rather than a wrench to my stomach. I guess in a way I enjoy nurturing it and trying to will it to live. Braxston died inside of me and I don’t want his plant to die under my care!
These are the kinds of of things you cling to when you lose a child. Anything tangible. And these are the kinds of things you get irrationally upset about.
I do have a sweet, tender mercy given to me this year. Kaitlyn is in the same grade Braxston would have been–Kindergarten. In Kaitlyn’s Kindergarten class, there is a sweet boy named Braxton. He was born really close to my Braxston’s due date. I think some people would encounter this situation and it would be hard for them to face. For me, it is a strength. I love this little Braxton. He is such a sweet and polite boy and I just look at him and know my Braxston would have been, too. He is good friends with Kaitlyn, and they are even in the same assigned group at school, so when I go to help in class, he is there the whole time. I have come to know his mom and his grandma actually lives on my street! I am so grateful to have him to look to in my life.
I seem to always have a song that makes me think of Braxston, and a very likely song this year is “I Will See You Again” by Carrie Underwood. I love the message of this song.
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