This will be a hard post to write. But sometimes these kind of posts touch people in ways you'd never expect, and I hope that it somehow can make a difference.
One year ago today, an angel went back to heaven after a very brief visit on earth. His name was Nathan, and was (IS!) my nephew. He was only 3.5 months old, and he died of SIDS. SIDS is an ugly, heart-wrenching, scary subject to discuss, but it's so very important for parents to be informed! In Nathan's case, there wasn't anything anyone could do...his parents did everything right and he was still taken. But it pays to be informed, doesn't it? I'll end the post with some links about SIDS.
Nathan was born October 21, 2008. He was the miracle baby--the one that surprised us all. (especially his parents!) It was Blake & Sara's first pregnancy, and it was such a joy watching their excitement as she got bigger, and the look on the proud daddy's face when they found out he was a boy! (The hubs was VERY jealous! His lovely brother once upon a time cursed us with all girls!) When the time arrived for him to be born, mama was VERY ready. She's a tiny thing and by the end it looked like she couldn't possibly get any bigger! Of course she was all belly, not an ounce of fat on her! One of those women that looked gorgeous pregnant, very much unlike myself. We got the call that he had been born, after a grueling labor and delivery--kudos to Sara, who worked so hard! I had tears in my eyes, knowing the overwhelming joy they were feeling. I, too had been through infertility struggles and I knew just how precious that baby was to them. It's different when you've waited for so long--it's like that little ball of stress just melts away the minute you hold your child. And I knew that's how they must be feeling.
Nathan was a beautiful little guy. Look at that fur! His skin was soft as silk.
I've never see two people come alive more than Blake & Sara after he was born. There was a softness in their eyes, and they were naturals at parenting. When he was just a little over a month old, they got these amazing portraits taken. What beautiful memories to cherish.
You can tell just how much he adored his mom & dad.
His eyes were always smiling, and he was the most alert baby I'd ever seen! He made his mama work too-he rolled over at around six weeks old. Crazy! The picture below was taken at 5:20 in the morning. Sleep is overrated, right?
He was, and forever will be, loved so much by so many. He touched our lives and made us appreciate each minute that we have, especially with our children. Sara asks that we "Please spend an extra 10 minutes with your kids everyday for me. Love them, hug them, and make wonderful memories that you can treasure for a life time. They grow and change so fast, and you never know what tomorrow will bring." I live by those words everyday. In fact, I put it as the banner on my phone.
We miss him dearly, and are so thankful for the ways he touched our hearts. He will forever remain a presence in our lives, and even though he's with God now, I know he will always be right there with us. I can still see his impact on his parents'; that softness hasn't left, and they have graciously turned that towards our children when we needed them last year. I can't thank them enough for being selfless and taking over the hubs and I's roles when we needed them to last summer. Nathan made them parents for life!
Miss you and love you always little man.
What to do if a friend or relative loses their baby:
First, visit Firstcandle.org for Do's and Don'ts. Don't be afraid to talk about their baby. They need to know that s/he was cherished and loved, and will be remembered. Share fond memories when the time is right. Call often. If you have any pictures of their baby, make a little album, with a copy of the pictures on cd for them. Most importantly, allow them to grieve. There is nothing more devastating on earth than the loss of a child, and it will take time to heal. Let them do that, and be there to lift them up when they need it. Don't have any expectations of them, especially that things will be "normal" again. It won't. They lost their child, how can it be?
If you can, donate to SIDS research. The more money they get, the higher the chance that they will discover the cause of SIDS and the more likely they can find a solution. Firstcandle.org is a reputable company to donate through. A link to their donation page can be found HERE.
Please keep Blake & Sara and all of those other parents that have ever lost a child to SIDS in your thoughts today. And if you know one of them, call them today just to say you're thinking about them, and love them.
(Love you guys!)