Yesterday, my 6 year old turned into a 7 year old. Like any birthday, I can hardly believe it. But birthdays after loss can be so much more bittersweet. Bitter for the every moment that Jeremy is missing out on his daughter's life, and sweet that in spite of the great tragedy of losing her daddy, Faith is growing into a beautiful young girl. I'm so proud of who she is and the heart she carries with her.
While I am always proud of my children, I've also recently taken notice of what a spectacular thing it can be to stop and look at them through Jeremy's eyes. It's like I can see his smile and hear his voice in the same way I heard it for days on end after Faith was born saying "she's so beautiful." Or see him sit back in his chair with arms crossed in satisfaction at Caleb when he makes something amazing with his legos. I can almost hear his amusement when I get a belly laugh out of Carter. Somehow, my chest sticks out a little farther to take pride in them for the both of us.
I've often wondered what purpose Carter was to serve in my life, having never had the chance to meet his daddy face-to-face, and then had to come into the world with a mother who was broken hearted and didn't have a clue how to put one foot in front of the other. I often call him the boy who saved my life because he literally forced me keep going, not for myself but for him, because he depended on me for survival. But I questioned God's purpose in his birth so many times, because it was so painful to endure. Then, the other day when I was having a bad day, upset on the couch, he came and brought me a blanket and pillow and even brought me an ice pack (cause he thought I was hurt) and then laid with me and patted me with his tiny little hands chanting "it's ok mama"........this guy just turned two. What kind of 2 year old has the sense to take care of his mama like that? It's like he knows. He's my protector. And suddenly I got the sense that maybe he sees me through Jeremy's eyes sometimes too.
I know my children's futures have unending potential, but I think maybe part of their purpose in this world was to show me how to see more of the world through Jeremy's eyes and to recognize how Jeremy saw me. What a gift that truly is.
I continue to remind myself to stop and look at the world through his eyes, not only to keep him close to me but also to feel the passion for the things he loved....which just so happen to include the people I love. Sometimes, the change of perspective is all I need to remind me to keep going.