Anticipation. Hope. Love. That's what October 3, 2015 was supposed to be.
Never could I have dreamed of what twists and turns were waiting for us and as I sit and think back to three years ago tonight, I remember feeling the following way.
Anticipation. Hope. Love.
While I was not holding my son in my arms on October 3, 2015, I was holding an immeasurable amount of love, hope, anticipation and yes kindness in my heart.
Thanks to the many who turned out and participated in Noah's Kindness Project that first year, we were able to take a date that could have been filled with hurt and so much sadness, and instead fill it with the feelings we longed for when we first learned Noah was with us.
These last several weeks I've been thinking over and over about why we do Noah's Kindness Project. We do it to help other people. We do it as a way to try to pay back others for all the love and kindness that was shared with us in our hardest days. We do it because it honestly makes us feel good too. We do it because we have been blessed and feel it is our turn to share blessings with others. We do it all, we do it all... because of him.
This precious baby who fit in the palm of his daddy's hands when he was weighed but created a place so big in our hearts it is forever etched with love for him.
My life has been permanently changed because of a tiny tiny baby that grew in my stomach for only 24 weeks and lived in our world for only 12 days. A tiny baby that never got to experience so much of what life has to offer, and yet was able to teach me more in his life than I perhaps have learned from anyone else.
The lessons of unending love. The lesson of grief. The belief in what happens beyond this world. The lesson that hurt and sadness can be eased by giving more of yourself, when honestly you don't feel like you have anything worthy of giving. The lesson in hope. In finding hope in the darkest of days, the kind of hope you can't see, feel or hardly believe exists but know you must trust it is there and do your best to keep going. These are just a few of the many lessons I have learned in the time I have lived with and without my son here.
Not a day goes by that I don't think of him, or wish he was here. But also in the three years we've been separated, I've come to accept the truth that I don't get to raise him. I will never see him grow. I will only get to have the memories of 12 days, that those 12 days have to last my lifetime. I have no doubt they will.
And even though I do not like that he is not here, I do like all that has come from his life and find great joy in what is accomplished on one day each year when we celebrate Noah's Kindness Project. I love that a group of people from all different corners of this world come together to share kindness, spread joy, give hope and love. When I think of the legacy our tiny boy who lived only 12 days has, I am proud, oh so proud to be his momma.
So on this day that reminds me of how different life is, than what I expected it to be, I still try to smile. I smile, after I took a moment to feel sad and honor just how hard grief can be in losing a baby. But I smile, I breathe soaking up the clean air that fills my lungs, and I press forward. Because that's what we need to do. Noah can't be here to live out his life, so I will do my best, in the days I am given to live for him, and for me, and I live for my other children and Jarrett. I guess I live for you too. Friend or family or stranger or not... we are all here to try to make this world a better place, to care for others by giving of ourselves.
On this October 3, 2018, I feel many things, but mostly I feel
Anticipation. Hope. Love.
Thanks to all of you who make Noah's Kindness Project as special as it. We honor our son, but we have unending gratitude to you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Noah's proud momma.