16 years ago you entered our lives and gave new definition to my heart walking outside of my body.
You were born on the cusp of Saturday becoming Sunday, where a few more minutes would have changed your arrival by a daylight savings hour. You threaded the needle of the two and announced your presence at 2:01 a.m. on Easter Sunday Morning, 1994.
Stats: 9 lbs even. The L & D nurse is convinced you would have been slightly heavier if you had not peed all over her on the way to the scale. Height: 21 1/2 inches. You were not only sturdy looking but also long and strong. Lots of dark black hair and black eyes, when you would open them, were seen.
You were one of those beauty children. Everyone commented on your looks. I saw you. The son of my dreams. The firstborn of others to come. The marriage of two bearing God's creation to three. It was completion of my heart.
Every year since I have seen you. Mostly in my dreams. Pictures that prompt memories. Your youngest brothers' mannerisms that prompt pictures and memories. I have seen you in your other brothers' adventures, placing you there by my imagination whether you would have joined in, scolded them, or led the way to protect them.
How many "Awww, Mom's" would I get in a week? How much pizza would you eat? Would Chick-Fil-A still be your favorite meal? Would you and I share popcorn together in the afternoons?
The cycle of years has brought me back to facing your birthday with Resurrection Weekend. Never more loudly can I sing that Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow. A tomorrow that bears the wounds of the past, still healing. A tomorrow that holds uncertainty. A tomorrow that is only secure in the promises of the One Who Lives.
I love you, James. I miss you daily as I watch your brothers growing up without you. I know that all God's ways are perfect, not in platitudes but in reality, for your life was not lived in vain but to the glory of His Name. And your brothers now benefit from a deeper, intentional parenting.
We can tell they do by how often they say, "Awww, Mom....awwww, Dad". One day they will thank you for that.
And I thank my God for granting me those years of mothering you. Through the intense, gut-wrenching, thrilling, miraculous, heart-twisting, on my knees praying times. There was more sweetness than hurt because of how the Lord's hand stayed me in His Word. And brought believers around me to hold and comfort and remind.
So, first son, dear sunshine, I love you still and pray that today will bear the mark of godly responses to what I learned as your mom. I do not pray for you because you are fulfilled in Him now. I pray for those here that do not have that certainty. May the grace of the Lord draw many to Himself this weekend.
I celebrate an empty tomb. I celebrate a son in His presence. I celebrate my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.