I am a wife and mother. I married Travis the summer of 2007 and life really took off. We welcomed our first born, Adrian Reese, June of 2009. We welcomed our second born, Ainslee Ryan, October of 2010 and had a short time with her. She was taken from us in February 2011, just 3 months and 10 days old, from the silent killer called SIDS. 6 months after she passed away, we found out we were expecting our 3rd, due in April of 2012. Our rainbow baby is a girl, sweet Hadlee Hope. We're slowly picking up the pieces and learning how to fit grief and happiness into this crazy thing called life.
Today when I picked Adrian up from school, he got in the car and as we drove off I could hear him singing. "I am welcome here in God's house...Oh I love to be in God's family, I am growing up in God's house." I feel such pride hearing the love he has for Jesus and God. It makes me feel like I'm doing something right to have our Lord be part of his life at such a young age. When we first lost Ainslee and talked about her in the months and the first year to come, I would always try to say that Ainslee was with Jesus and God and that she was so happy in Heaven with them. I explained that Jesus had a lot of great work for Ainslee to do and that we would see all the good that would come of her life and being part of our family. Adrian's mind being the innocent 2 year old he was at the time immediately associated Ainslee being a baby, with the fact that Jesus must be a baby also. And He must be my baby at that! So, now I had Ainslee in Heaven and Jesus in Heaven. I thought it was so cute, but quickly let him know that Jesus wasn't my baby and although he once WAS a baby, He grew into a man. The conversation left off there and has evolved over Adrian as he grows up. Recently Adrian has been bringing books home on Tuesdays from school that are all about snakes. He loves getting a funny reaction from me about the snake books. I pretend they disgust me...which they really do! We were reading one evening before bedtime and in the book it talked about venomous snakes and the fact that some can kill a human. That lead to what are humans, is our dog Cash a human, etc. After we did a lesson on mammals, humans, animals, birds, bees....you get the picture, Adrian asked if Jesus died because he got bit by a snake. I had to chuckle inside, it was so cute. I told him that Jesus was a man and was forced to die on a cross for all of us humans so that we may live with Him one day in Heaven. Such a big concept for such a little guy. That seemed to suffice for the time being and bedtime went on as normal. Fast forward to the followind Sunday at church (this past Sunday), we were leaving and going to see Ainslee as we always do at the cemetery every Sunday. As we were driving, Adrian asks...."Did Ainslee die on the cross too?" I felt like I got hit in the stomach and had the breath taken from me. What an innocent question. I had no idea how to explain how she died. I was searching for words, ideas, anything to say the right thing to him and then told him that she simply stopped breathing. I told him it wasn't common so he wouldn't be scared of stopping breathing or the same thing happening to Hadlee. But, I told him that sometimes with babies, they are little and forget to keep breathing so Jesus comes and helps them to Heaven. That seemed to suffice and we enjoyed the rest of our day. This is one of those times I wish I didn't have to explain to my 3 year old in his pure innocence the way of life, the depths of grief, the finality of death. He is trying to understand it all at such a young age, when most 3 year olds are mainly concerned with which truck to play with. Granted he does have fun and is full of wonderful life experiences that are his blessings, but he does have a unique situation that he ponders often. Last night as I was putting him to bed, we read the story of Jesus on the cross and the hope of heaven from his children's bible since he had been questioning so much of it. Every night Adrian sleeps with his teradactile (sp) and his Ainslee bear. His Ainslee bear was sent to us when she passed away from a friend and inside it has a picture of Ainslee explaining where she went but reminding Adrian that she is so proud of her brother. Those 2 animals are close seconds to his Mommy and Daddy. He asked me last night if when he dies, if he can take teradactile and Ainslee bear....then retracted and said he'd leave them here for me and when I get to heaven with him I can bring them. I told him nobody is dying, we're going to be 90 years old when we die and it won't be by a snake bite or on a cross. :) I am so happy with our family and to watch this little boy grow up in God's house. That in itself is truly a blessing. I love you my sweet boy Adrian.