Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fly Away

I have been lazy about blogging lately. I am attributing this to lack of motivation and morning sickness! That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it! Anyway, I think the blogs about Evan's passing took everything in me. I needed to recover. Sometimes I wonder how anyone could read my blog because it is really depressing.

I am truly grateful to have the first year over with! While the pain is still so raw I know that most of the first happenings without Evan are over. Everyone has told us the first year would be the hardest. I think that it will always be hard no matter where we are in life. This summer has really been difficult. Now that the weather is warm, we have been taking Noah to do lots of fun things. I can't help be to think that Evan is missing out. Or, I should say that we are missing out on taking Evan to do fun things and miss seeing the smile on his face! Then I remind myself that Evan is experiencing true happiness that only happens in Heaven. He is completely free of pain and heartache.

This brings me to a discussion that Nate and I just recently had. All along, we have both said that it should have been one of us that died and not Evan. Evan should have gotten the chance to live a full life. But here is what I said to Nate. If God would have come down and asked us who gets to go to Heaven first, you or your precious son, what would we have said? I then ask myself, how could I have taken the opportunity to experience heaven and leave Evan behind in a world of sadness and pain? Would I have had the right to take Heaven away from my child? This thought has really changed my way of thinking. I certainly would have been very selfish to go before my child, even though that is not the way it should happen. Don't get me wrong. The pain of losing Evan will never go away, but at least it makes me feel better. My child was certainly chosen for a reason.

Okay, onto more important things. Two years ago this month we bought Evan his dirt bike. It all started when my dad's buddy brought his little boy's bike over. Evan was so thrilled! I only agreed to let him get close to it because I thought the loud noise would scare him. I was terribly mistaken. He begged to get on and Nate and I agreed. What was I thinking??? He hopped on this little dirt bike and took off! I could not believe that my almost 5-year old was riding a dirt bike! When I saw the look of confidence and amazement in Evan's eyes, I knew that he needed one of his own. In June of 2007, we bought Evan his very own dirt bike. Nate spent weeks searching for the perfect bike. We made a trip to Nashville, IL and brought back the bike. I will never forget that day. It was so special and Evan was so excited!! His bike was truly his passion, along with Spiderman of course. He was so proud of it. While I still sometimes wonder how on earth I ever agreed to get him one, I can truly say it was one of the best things we ever did with Evan.

As mother's, we tend to want to wrap our children in bubble wrap and keep them tucked away from the world. Evan always managed to talk me into almost anything. He used to say to me, "I can do it mom, just let me try!" While we want to protect our children, I think we also need to let them spread their wings and fly. Little did I know that Evan would one day become an angel and fly away. He only had 6 short years on this earth. I am so grateful that we let him live to the fullest and experience the things he wanted to. Evan was also such a grateful child and doing things with him was so wonderful!

Here are some pictures of Evan's pride and joy. They didn't have a riding suit in the store to fit him so I had to order it online. I totally regret not having any pictures of him in his cute little suit.:(

Sunday, June 7, 2009

God's Promise

Part III

The following days after Evan passed were incredibly difficult. We were living a nightmare. We found ourselves doing what most parents cannot even comprehend, nor should they have to. We had to make funeral arrangements for our little boy. Our hopes and dreams for Evan were about to be buried in a cemetery. We spent those days picking out a casket, flowers, music, and planning the service. At the funeral home, they told us that we had to go and get clothes for Evan. I asked what for? They replied, "to bury him in". I HAD TO PICK OUT CLOTHES FOR MY LITTLE BOY TO BE BURIED IN!!! At the time, I was not capable of understanding that. I remember driving through town and everyone was so happy and cheerful. Summer was almost here and the weather was beautiful. Everyone was going on about their lives and our world had just come to a screeching halt. We were so incredibly blessed with people who helped. Everyone just seemed to come together and do everything for us. We were completely surrounded by an immense amount of people bringing food, gifts, flowers, and whatever else they could think of. Complete strangers were sending things for us. We called them fairies.

The following Monday was suppose to be Evan's last day of school. He was suppose to graduate Kindergarten. We chose to go in Evan's honor and receive his little kindergarten diploma. This would be the only certificate he ever received. I really wanted him to have it. His school was so incredibly supportive. After the ceremony, everyone went down to the playground and released balloons for Evan. What was suppose to be such a happy event was riddled with sadness for the loss of our little kindergartner.

The next day was the wake. Attending a wake is hard enough, but attending your own child's is grueling. Having to stand next to your child in a casket for hours is just about as bad as finding him in his bed. Nate and I got to be the first to see Evan. We stood outside the funeral home and prayed for God to give us strength to see Evan. We were completely terrified to say the least. When we walked in and looked at his little body laying there, we almost felt guilty for not losing it. They did a wonderful job with Evan, but is was so obvious that it wasn't him any longer. God had taken his soul home. We also wanted Noah to get to say goodbye. We held him up and let Noah say what he wanted to. He told Evan goodbye and that he loved him in the sweetest little voice. No child should ever have to do this! Noah's big bother would not be able to play superhero's ever again in this lifetime. The wake lasted about 7 hours. All I wanted to do was be close to Evan. I kept touching him because I knew that I would never again get to feel him. The amount of people that came to support us and say goodbye to Evan was so humbling.

The next day was Evan's funeral. Nathan and I stood in my parents bathroom talking about how we could not believe we had to get ready for our son's funeral. Does it get any worse than this? The funeral itself was beautiful, if you can call it that. Everyone did such a wonderful job with the pictures, music, and everything else. This is where I need to mention the most incredible aspect of those days surrounding Evan's death. That would be God. I truly believe that God literally walked right by our side during the darkest days of our life, and continues to do so today. When we walked in the church, it was completely sunny outside. During the service the pastor read a letter from Evan's teacher. She mentioned that when she hears thunder, she will think of Evan knocking his blocks down. The song "Word of God Speak" played, and in the song, it talks about pouring down rain to wipe the tears away. It began to thunder, followed by pouring rain! I remember sitting there praying for it to clear up so we could go have the graveside service. By the time the church service was over it was sunny and clear, as if it never rained! We got one more chance to see him before they closed the casket. After everyone left the auditorium, we walked up to Evan to say goodbye. Nate and I held each other and Noah. We told Evan how much we loved him and that we would see him again someday. They closed the casket with my precious little boy and his Spiderman costume beside him.

After the church service was over, we headed for the cemetery. Watching six men pick up my child's casket was also another one of those unthinkable, heartbreaking moments. They were taking my child away forever!!I remember being supported by people while walking behind. My child was then being loaded into a hearse and taken away. We went to bury our little boy. At the cemetery, we released six balloons in honor of the six wonderful years we had with Evan. We let them go and shouted, "To infinity and beyond!" Then we left my little boy in the cemetery all by himself. That thought was horrible.

This is another amazing God moment. When we returned to the church we noticed a beautiful rainbow above the church! It was truly remarkable. It was actually an upside down rainbow. We were told they are called halo's and that is suppose to mean an angel is watching over you. It was such a wonderful sign from God! We knew that Evan would be okay, but we really felt like God was telling us that we're going to be okay. Somehow, we were going to have to make it! This was God's promise to us. He was then, and still is our strength through all of this. I look back to that Friday night before he passed, and also at things that happened months before Evan died and saw God's hands in our life.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
"While we try and teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."