seventeen years ago and I was still gazing at you. Birth was amazing. No drugs, no pain. How did it happen? Sheer thrill at seeing you born and watching transformation of skin, hearing your wail and knowing your life now new and promising.
Nurses exclaimed over your size, your hair, your vigor. Your Daddy beamed. No man could have rejoiced more in his firstborn son. Exhausted and invigorated, I patiently waited as they cleaned you and measured, noted statistics and finally, finally, they brought you back.
I held you. It was a Sunday morning then too. We knew our own sense of worship that day. Ascribing worth to the Lord who had formed you and graciously given. His love knows no bounds. Neither did ours that day.
These were the golden hours. Your eyes so dark, no pupil, no iris, just black pools. Your hair full, fully black and fuzzy. If you had been a girl, we could have placed two bows. Outward perfection in numbers of toes and fingers, in framing of face.
No way for us to have known your future in these hours.
You were nine full pounds of contented life. The fullness in my heart, the layers of gratitude I knew for your safe birth, your health, your potential--your death can never erase those truths. Grief would make these hours bitter remembrances. Why didn't God give a hint in these hours to watch?
But when God gives healing for grief, there is a second gratitude that remembers what was and no longer regrets. Peace for those He draws near.
Seventeen years. I am full these days of thoughts and research and planning for your brothers. Their high school years approach too quickly. A day like today causes me pause because I think that you would be nearly done. These things that are firsts for your brothers would be nearly lasts for you. I would have some confidence in how these years have gone. Maybe. I would at least have some idea.
Instead, you are seventeen only in years passed. Not reality, not for a day of celebration.
A day of remembrance. And in that the Lord gives peace again.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.