Our nephew Maddox would have been five yesterday.
Although it seems impossible to separate the grief of missing him from the celebration of his birth and his place in our family, each year we can't help but remember that joyous day when our first baby entered the family. He was so, so sweet. It used to be one of my biggest fears that I'd forget what he looked like but now, five years later, I realize that I will never forget looking into his brand new little face and thinking he was absolutely perfect.
He was only with us for a brief time, but we'll never forget him. Our hearts and prayers will forever be with Daddy Luke and Mama Amy as they live without their firstborn. He'll always be our first babe and we'll always love him.
We took Sydni, Moses, Kolt, and Millie to the cemetery to celebrate Maddox' birthday. Sydni and Moses were certain that Maddox would like balloons in Heaven, because they like balloons on their birthdays. :) I wish that his birthdays weren't sad. I wish that for even one day I could set aside the fact that there is a void in our family and just get to celebrate him with a happy heart. After all, he's in Heaven! But listening to his younger siblings and cousins sing with joyful hearts, smiling faces, and sweet voices "Happy Birthday Maddox!" around his grave only made me miss him more.
Being 35/36 weeks pregnant over the anniversary of Maddox' being born and passing away has given me a new perspective, a deeper sense of the reality of potentially losing a child, and an absolute gratitude for the assurance of eternal life. Alan Jackson's rendition of "Blessed Assurance" has been playing in my head on repeat ever since leaving the cemetery yesterday.
Little ones, missed.