What I Know Today

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Are you scared?

Here is Jackie at 19 mos in a cute little shirt his grandma bought him for Halloween. In case you can't read it, it says, "I may be cute but I still bite." Darrin snapped this picture of him, and I just love the face he's making. Totally works with the shirt, don't you think?!

Poor little guy is living in a padded world right now. We're so sensitive to every little cough or sigh with him, but he sure has done a lot for us both in terms of keeping us both sane over the past month.


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Legend of the Dragonfly

One of my childhood friends sent a gift to me after Henry's passing. Included with the dragonfly themed gift (she said this photo was her inspiration), there was a sheet of paper enclosed. The story on that paper has brought me so much comfort over the past few weeks, I wanted to share it here with all of you.

The Legend of the Dragonfly
In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs who could not understand why none of their group ever came back after crawling up the lily stems to the top of the water. They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what had happened to him.
Soon one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface; he rested himself on the top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation which made him a dragonfly with beautiful wings. In vain he tried to keep his promise. Flying back and forth over the pond, he peered down at his friends below. Then he realized that even if they could see him they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number.

The fact that we cannot see our loved ones or communicate with them after the transformation which we call death is no proof that they cease to exist.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Henry's Memorial

The night before Henry's memorial service, I printed and put together photo boards to share at the service to give people a glimpse into his little life. I thought I'd make a Smilebox to share them here, too, for those who were unable to attend due to distance or other commitments. There are 142 photos in the slide show, so it will probably take you some time to go through if you're interested. I tried to get it in chronological order, but I think a few are out of order still. Also, note that these are only pics we've taken since we got a digital camera (plus a few early ones that had been scanned). There were additional pictures at the service that had been taken with film that I don't have here:

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Henry Morgan
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We chose three songs for the funeral. The congregation sang Children Of The Heavenly Father, and then we played two contemporary songs. The first was Brad Paisley's When I Get Where I'm Going. I chose that song specifically for the opening lyrics. The part about how he lands next to a lion and runs his fingers through its mane. I could just visualize Henry doing that - he loved animals sooooo much! The second song was Chris Cornell's I Promise It's Not Goodbye. I just loved that song the first time I heard it. It was as if it was written just for us. Be sure to click over and listen if you're not familiar. I find myself humming the first verse often when I'm feeling down, and imagine Henry singing it to me.

In addition to the songs, we shared this poem:

They say memories are golden well maybe that is true.
We never wanted memories, We only wanted you.
A million times we needed you, a million times we cried.
If love alone could have saved you you never would have died.
In life we loved you dearly, In death we love you still.
In our hearts you hold a place no one could ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane,
We'd walk the path to heaven and bring you back again.
Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.
Author unknown

Hubby and I also each wrote a letter to Henry that the minister read during the service. I'll close with my letter below:

My dear, sweet, Henry… my little Bug…

There are so many questions I have and so few answers. So many dreams I had for you and for all of us that will never come true. So many games we haven’t played so many zoos we’ve yet to visit. I had grand plans to take you to every zoo in the country, one by one until you tired of them. We’d walk hand in hand as we always did, and you’d giggle and say, “Run, Mama! Run with me!” while tugging at my arm. At first I’d resist, but then give in as I did every single time. Your smile was incredible, and I spent the last three years doing whatever I could to bring it out. I will never forget your laughter or your smile, or your kind soul that was so mature for a child your age. I promise you I will never forget how to be silly, and will one day run and roll and tickle and play with you in Heaven just as we did every day here on earth.

Two years ago, I was pregnant with your brother Jack, and as much as I was looking forward to another wonderful little boy to love, I was terrified that something would go wrong during his delivery, and I would pass on, leaving you far too soon. Never could I ever imagine that you would be the one leaving me. Two days before I gave birth to your brother, I wrote you a letter. Something I wanted you to have in case I didn’t make it through that c-section surgery. In that letter, I wrote, “From day one, you have meant the world to me. I’ve often told your Papa that you are my heart and it is the truth. All of the love I have is wrapped up in you. In your smile, your laughter, even in your cranky side! I am constantly amazed with you, and you have made every day of your life a joy for me, and I could never want for more. Thank you for blessing me with your presence, and as I’ve told you since the day you were born – ‘no matter what happens know that Mama loves you and she’s never very far away’.

I whispered those words – Remember, Mama loves you and she’s never very far away – in your ear when I had to lay you on the light table for your jaundice the day after you were born. I repeated the same thing time and again these past three years whenever I had to be away from you for more than a few hours. Whether you were spending the night at grandma’s house, or going on an adventure with Papa. Last weekend as I held your hand in the hospital and the Flight for Life crew prepped you for your first helicopter ride, I kissed you gently and whispered those words again. Mama’s never very far away. And then I got in my van and raced Papa and myself down to Milwaukee to be at your side.

Even though you are looking down on us from heaven now, I want you to know that I am still right here, not very far away. If you need me, you know where to find me, and you can snuggle up at my side whenever you need to… just like always. I love you every bit as much today as I did the day you were born – even more, if that’s possible. I spent nine and a half months carrying you in my tummy, and will spend the rest of eternity carrying you in my heart and in my memory.
I miss you like crazy, I love you to pieces, and I promise you I will see you again, and we’ll tell your favorite stories, over and over and never be parted again.

All of my love, kisses, and tickles, sweet boy.

As you danced in the light with joy, love lifted you.
As you brushed against this world so gently, you lifted us.
T.C. Ring


Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Sweet Angel

As you may or may not have heard, my hubby and I lost our three year old son one week ago. His death came quickly, almost without warning, and we're still at a loss as to what caused it (though H1N1 has been ruled out). We are absolutely devastated. Nothing is the same without our sweet boy, and it never will be again.

Please continue to pray for our family. To lift the pain and guilt (not because we caused the death, but more because we feel like we should have been able to prevent it) from our hearts, and for the ability to find some form of comfort in the years to come as we wait to be reunited with our little Bug.

For those who are wondering, we are doing as well as we possibly can be, given the circumstances. Jack is a godsend to us. Without him, I really don't know what would get us out of bed every morning. We are pouring our love and attention into him, and trying to keep the memory of Henry alive by talking about him daily and remembering all of the happy times.... which were basically ALL of the times, because he really was the happiest, most joy filled child I've ever known. Jack is obviously too young to understand. He looks for his brother every day. He waits by the back door for him, searches Henry's bedroom, checks behind doors, and stares out the window. All things he never did before.

Our little Henry was 3 years, 4 months, and 9 days old when he left us for Heaven. God bless him and keep him until we see him again.

Thank you all for your support during this difficult time. ((hugs))