8 Years in Heaven

Tomorrow is your 8th birthday. The longer time goes on and the more I get to see your little brother grow and develop individual traits, the more I wonder what you are like. What you would look like at 8? How would you like school, would you be funny, serious, quiet, energetic? I want to know it all. Your little brother brings us so much joy, I can’t even imagine it doubled with both of you in the house. I wish I could hug you and get your favorite birthday meal and make you a cake. I miss you. I am so excited for the day when I get to see you again in heaven and learn all of these things about you.

For now, I got some pale pink roses and a strawberry swirl cheesecake to celebrate you. Your brother has asked about getting blue balloons to release and I’m thankful he remembers that and that it is meaningful to him. I bought tickets for us to go to the Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium tomorrow to celebrate your birthday. I hope it’s a fun day as a family as we remember you, our first son. I’ve begun to wonder if maybe your dad blames me for your loss because things seem to be extra rough around your birthday. A counselor friend suggested that as a possibility, and he does seem to be extra angry and harsh around this time of year. Hopefully our outing can be good.

I love you always. I’m thankful you first made me a mom, even though it was a painful way to begin that journey. I know we will be together again and all joy will be restored. I’m so thankful for my salvation through Jesus so that I can rest in the peace and assurance that we are only separated by a thin veil. Your loss is temporary. You are already in our true home and I will get to join you there when my race is done. Some days that is easier than others, but I strive my best to do what God needs me to do each day so that I can enjoy the rewards you are enjoying, my son. I’m thankful I’m forgiven through God’s grace when I fall short (a lot). I’m thankful I know you are safe and in heaven where there are no tears, no pain, no death, no hurt. Surrounded by God’s love and in His presence! I love you so much, Luke Hudson Hopper. Happy 8th birthday! I remember you today and always.

Happy 7th birthday

Happy 7th birthday, my first son! I love and miss you! I look forward to the end of my race when I get to arrive at the gates of heaven and see you waiting to greet me. There’s so much I want to know about you. What color your eyes are, what your personality is like, what your favorite things are. I have so few things of you on Earth. A few pictures, a onesie you wore, a memory box and your ashes. They are still in the closet because what do you do with ashes of a baby who never went anywhere?

This day is always hard because I don’t unpack some of those painful memories very often. The nurse not finding your heartbeat with the Doppler, the doctor coming in to do an ultrasound, the quiet and somber feeling in the room that started the panic, the doctor saying “there’s no heartbeat” and then immediately after, “I know Dr. X wanted you to induce”, which immediately began the guilt. You were so close to being here! We were so excited and ready for you! But I know that God allowed your loss for a reason. He has brought me many gifts through you and your loss has refined me to follow Him better. I long for heaven in a way I did not before.

What I am missing most about you these days is the relationship your little brother would have with you. I didn’t want him to be an only child and I’m sad he’s missing out on that sibling relationship your dad and I both had. During these last 2 months of the corona virus outbreak, he hasn’t had any interaction with other kids. No Sunday school, no preschool, no park or play dates. It makes me feel bad. I hope his development is not harmed in some way by going without that peer interaction. He is so sweet though. When he saw I was sad this morning, he brought me one of our new baby chicks and said, “Here mommy, this chick will cheer you up.” ❤️

We don’t have any big plans for your birthday today. The world is different at the moment, but that is okay with me because I know this world is so temporary. It is not my home. My home is with you and my Father in heaven. I would be happy if this world was ending so that I could get there faster! But for now, I will continue to try to run my race with endurance until He says it is complete and I can come home. I love you, my son and I remember you today on your birthday and always.

It’s Your Birthday

Today is your birthday, my sweet son. 6 years. We are going to celebrate you by having a picnic lunch and playing at a secluded park with friends. Your brother picked out a carton of edible flowers at the farmers market, so I’m going to make a pretty salad and pick up pizza. I liked this article from Mary Chapman on how they celebrate their daughter in heaven’s birthday.

https://www.marybethchapman.com/blog/2019/4/15/ask-mary-beth-question-1-how-do-we-celebrate-marias-heaven-day

They are at a point where they need fun family time and celebration when they celebrate their daughter’s birthday and I’m feeling like that too. Last year, we went to the zoo with these same dear friends we will see today. They talk about you, so I like to celebrate you with them. Their kids are your little brother’s favorite friends, so he will have a blast. There are many far away that remember your birthday too and send me sweet messages.

When I told your brother we were going to have a birthday party of sorts for you, he got very excited. He said, “Is Luke going to come down for it?!” That brought tears and laughter. He loves you and mentions you to strangers when they ask if he has siblings, which sometimes catches me off guard and makes me awkward. But I’m grateful he talks about you.

He also asked if we could send you a cake like we send balloons. “Can’t we just tie a cake to a bunch of balloons and send it up to him, mom?” He thought the balloons actually make it to you in heaven. What a sweet thought.

I love your sweet brother. He brings boundless joy to my life. You do too, my sweet son. I know that you are in the best place, our true home, surrounded by love and unimaginable beauty. I look forward to joining you there when my race is run. Sometimes I long for the race to be done sooner so I can be with you and be done with the hard things in this broken world. But in the meantime, I am helped to “run with endurance the race that is set before me” (Hebrews 12:1) by knowing that part of my reward is you. I cherish the thought of seeing your handsome face and learning all about you, my son. I can’t wait.

Here is a song I choose to remember you with this year, out of many that remind me of you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAg2Sg43Hfc&feature=share

As I have have written about before and just as Steven Curtis Chapman says, you being there has inspired me to learn about and long for heaven in a totally new way. “God I know, it’s all of this and so much more. But God, you know, this is what I’m longing for, heaven in the face of my little boy.”

I love you. “ He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”–Revelations 21:4