Monday, December 31, 2012

...and I won't even make it to midnight!

This is probably my best New Year's Eve since...I don't know when. Not to say I haven't had some wonderful memories in past years. But even four years ago when we started a certain little family tradition (you'll see in a minute), I was having a tough time enjoying the holidays because we had been trying for nearly a year to add to our family with no luck.

When Miles was two and we were putting him to bed, I decided to get a series of photos of our little family. Just funny little photos where we squeezed together and got silly for the camera. The best one is one of my favorites of all time, and it's up on our wall in the house. The only year I don't have is the next year, 2009, because we were at a party and it just didn't work out. Plus, it hadn't really become a tradition yet since we'd only done it the one time. But the next year we picked it up and then again...and this afternoon we made a go of it, even though we didn't know how it would turn out with our two new little munchkins. I think it came out okay considering.

Here are the best shots from each year:

 2008

2010

2011

2012

I said it was my best New Year's Eve in a long while, but I can say that 2012 has been the best year in a very long while. How blessed I am...I hope you are feeling just as blessed as you head into 2013.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Dear Maggie and Moses

Last summer I drove about two hours from home to a place of solitude. I needed solitude. Everyone does, and no one really has to go anywhere special for it, but I had felt a strong pull toward truly getting away to be with God for some time. I found a wonderful little place where I had my own tiny cottage for two nights, and Casey's full support made it possible for me to have this time away guilt-free.

While there, I spoke about twice each day with the lady who essentially ran the place. Clare is her name. I told her my very long story, going back to when Miles was born and getting to the place of grief I was currently in, the place where our dreams of more children had not been realized. I had been journaling during my solitude, and on the second day Clare suggested I write a letter in my journal to the children who had never come to be. I knew instantly that I didn't want to do that, and so it meant to me that I needed to do that. But it was going to be one of the hardest things I would write.

It just so happened that Casey and I, over the course of our four failed in vitro cycles, had each come up with a name we liked if we ever had a boy or a girl. He had a girl's name in mind, I had decided on a boy's name. We had talked about them through each cycle, dreaming that one or both of them might be ours one day. The names had come to mean so much that I decided to address my letter to these two specific children. Keep in mind that this was June of last year...we weren't even at a place of knowing if we would try in vitro ever again.

With all of that said, I feel as though tonight is the perfect time to share this letter, so here goes.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Maggie and Moses,

     I find it so very difficult to begin this letter. My fear is that I will cling to the hope of you even more, and that hope has been discarded and trampled over and over again for more than three years.
     Instead of sitting here writing a letter to children who don't exist, I should be holding you in my arms. I should be listening to your laughter as your big brother Miles is his usual, funny self. I thought that one or both of you might be here by now. None of that has come about as I dreamed...it's only been one more heartache after another.
     How do I miss a child that never was? But I do -- have seen you in my dreams, have imagined you coming home, have wondered what you would look like.
     For so long, it has felt as if you were waiting for me at the end of this long journey; it was like I could see you as that light at the end of a torturous tunnel.
     But now...now something I was sure would happen in time might never happen at all. Will I never know you? I struggle mightily to let you go.
     If you are not to be, I need God to change the desires of my heart, because I cannot do it myself. This longing seems almost more than I can bear at times.
     But oh, how you would be loved! And every day that you are not a reality makes me want to hold Miles that much closer. As much as I hope for you...well, he is here and you are not. God gave me such an amazing, beautiful boy in Miles Kendrick. I am desperate for him not to suffer because of my own grief. He is loved, he is precious, he is pure -- HE IS HERE. My love and delight need to be reserved for him, and not for a child that isn't.
     I'm sorry, Maggie and Moses. Please come if you can. But if you can't, God will take care of us. I hate to say goodbye to you, but I need to lay the dream of you at Jesus' feet. He will know what to do.
     I still want you...I do. But if my holding to the idea of you is futile, I am only doing a disservice to Casey and Miles. They need me, my heart and my nurturing. They are my boys.
     If you come someday, you will know what I mean. The love you will find in our little family is precious. It is waiting here if God's will is for you to be.

Love forever,

Mama
_________________________________________________________________________________

Even now, that is a very hard letter for me to read. I don't feel the sadness as much, but I remember it. But my sorrow was turned to joy on January 19 this year when we found out our fifth cycle was a success. And then again a week later, the joy grew as we found out we were having twins! Then came April 9, the day we learned we were having a boy and a girl...our Maggie and Moses.

Tomorrow is the end of a long chapter and the beginning of another, because our sweet little ones will arrive in this world. We only just learned that this afternoon, since Moses' growth had dropped down a bit, so the safest and best thing to do is to get them outside my body as soon as possible so he doesn't lose any more nourishment. Having carried these two miracles for 36 weeks and 6 days by the time they're born, I am so relieved to be where we are. I am so blessed. Praise God for new beginnings!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The 'someday' questions

Tonight is the second night in less than a week that I've overheard Miles and Casey talking about heaven and/or the 'new heaven and new earth.' These conversations seem to bring about every question Miles can possibly ask in the least amount of time, with Casey just trying to keep up. It's heartwarming, and a bit heart-aching too. I love that Miles is still so unaware of the pain that comes with losing a loved one. He knows that after death we get to be with God, see God, live with God...he just hasn't connected the loss the rest feel on earth. I'm so glad his heart is still untouched by that pain.

Part of tonight's questioning had to do with what our bodies would be like, how old we would be and where we would live (last time it had to do with his toys and our cats and if they'd be with us in heaven too). Based on answers he was getting from his daddy tonight, I heard Miles blurt out at one point, "So we'll just be walking around with no house? Just walking-walking-walking?"

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Prepared? Yes. Ready? Hmm...

It's a familiar theme in my life, but lately the 'I-have-so-much-to-get-done' refrain plays ever louder in my head. If all goes according to plan, I have 10 weeks and 5 days (my 38-week mark) to do those things...but one must keep in mind that dreaded unexpectedness. After all, my first child did arrive six weeks early, and I was not ready.

My constant reminders to 'get this done, get that done' mostly come in the form of little feet in my ribs, tiny hiccups from two growing wonders, and those exploring knees and fingers that feel so funny and amazing. I can still move around fairly well, but I'm noticing my limitations more and more (shoe-tying and toenail-painting come to mind).

I won't get everything done. I'll have the essentials ready, I know that, but that list in my head of hundreds of tiny things will not be fully finished and I just have to live with that. Priorities must rule, and those include the health and wellbeing of me and my family and our precious relationships and time together before it all changes.

Because it's all going to change in the blink of two little pairs of eyes.

Friday, June 08, 2012

10 years...just a drop in the bucket, baby

My husband has dark, beautiful hair. I thought it was black for, I don't know, a long time until he pointed out that in the sunlight it is a rich, chestnut brown. No matter...I've always loved it, been jealous of the body it has and the fact that he never has to use any product to make it do what it should. But if you're standing close enough, you'll see that this beautiful hair of Casey's is becoming speckled with little white hairs. These were not around ten years ago when I married my 24-year-old groom. My conclusion is that mostly I put them there, what with all the hospital craziness (as I have termed it) and...maybe sometimes just being me. I guess I'll share a few with Miles and the campus ministry.

When Casey and I first fell in love, I would tell him he was 'perfect'. Ever humble, he would add, '...for you.' And yes, over the years I've realized my husband is definitely not perfect, but in fact perfect for me. I always say that my best decision ever was to accept Jesus as my Savior, and my second best was to choose Casey to be my love for life. He is my best friend, the one I want to share everything with first, the other half of my heart. I adore Miles and little Maggie and Moses, but they would not be had it not been for this precious man who I love more every day.

Ten years is a long time. But then, it's not. Casey and I have packed a lot of life experience into the past decade. We have ridden storms and I'm sure we'll ride many more. I don't think either of us planned that we would be expecting our second and third child at this point in our lives, much less at the same time! But that is part of what makes our story our story. And thank God that He is at the center of it all.

Happy First 10 Years, Case. You are definitely the most perfect man...for me. xoxo


Monday, June 04, 2012

Belly + Babies Update (and maybe some other stuff)

Casey and I have tried to remember to take a weekly pregnancy photo, but between my 'pregnant brain' and his traveling to Haiti for 10 days and both of us trying to prepare for two more people entering our family soon...well, you can see how some things can fall by the wayside.

I thought the photos (see below) would really reflect how much I've grown, but they don't seem to show just how big I feel. Because yes, I am larger than I was at this point with Miles. Much larger. I have already gained two more pounds than my total weight with my first pregnancy, and I still have about 12 to 14 weeks to go! That's 12-14 weeks to my 36-38 week mark, not the due date. I will be thrilled to make it to 36 weeks but I will hold out for a week or two longer if my body allows! Oh, and the last photo we took was nearly three weeks ago. I've grown quite a bit since then, but I can't share weeks 22 and 23 because, as mentioned above, we forget these things.

Our most recent visit to the doctor, last Thursday, showed our Maggie and Moses growing very well. Each is just over one pound (that's still approximate before they're born) and everything is developing on schedule. Other than my taking things easy when needed and working on hydration and such, I can take no credit for any of this. God and nature are doing what they do, and we are so thankful to have two healthy babies growing so well.

While Casey was in Haiti, Miles and I were able to make a short trip to my folks in Texas where the ladies at my home church (they've known me since I was 14!) gave me a beautiful gift card-plus-a-few-extras shower. Miles had his first plane ride on this trip and was so excited. The only thing that would have made it all perfect was having Casey there, but I documented what I could of the trip and shared lots of stories when he got safely home.

What else? People are most often asking how I'm feeling, how I'm handling the pregnancy, and honestly it's going fairly well. Of course I'm getting uncomfortable, and nights can be a challenge. I think I've hit another fatigue stage, feeling tired most of the day. This part is a little frustrating, because I had a few weeks there where I could wake up early and start accomplishing things...now I struggle to get up and make it through the day without feeling like I need a nap (or two). But knowing that the babies are doing well, feeling them kick when they're awake -- they are both so strong! -- are things that keep me focused on what is most important. I know, unfortunately better than some, that anything unexpected can happen when you're pregnant. But that still won't stop me from making every effort to keep these babies safe in my body for as long as possible!


Monday, April 23, 2012

2,190 Days...312 Weeks...6 Years

Dear Miles,

So the day has come. Wait -- the day actually came and went ten days ago. You are six years old!


When I wrote last year's post, I was in a very different frame of mind. That was a tough post to write. First, you were turning five. Such a milestone in one's life (or maybe just for the moms). Second, you were a few months away from starting school. I was so happy for you, and at the same time feeling a bit lost because I had never envisioned that you would go to kindergarten and not have a baby brother or sister at home.



It turns out that I was able to survive that first day of school, me and Daddy both, although there were some tears on the drive back home. You, on the other hand, handled it all like a pro and have learned more than I myself learned in kindergarten. So much reading and writing and math! And now that your first year of school is nearly over, I know now that we can do it all again in a few more months.


Not long after school had started, you wanted to write your name everywhere. I'm still so thankful for our friend Jen N., who had her camera on-hand for me to capture your letters scrawled in the sand. It's been my computer desktop picture ever since.


We now have so many school projects saved from just the past eight months, not to mention the awesome drawings you've made that hold a special place in a mama's heart. I know I'll have to go through and clean out some things, but others I will hold onto (or frame) and never let go.


When I write these posts, Miles, I always talk about your sense of humor. I can't help it. You are a naturally funny kid (maybe Mama and Daddy helped out a little) and I love it. More and more I have tried to capture your different expressions, and even in one 'photo session' I was calling out, "Mad! Sad! Surprised! Happy!" just to see what you would do with your little face.


Speaking of faces...yours changed in a big way recently. I am talking about the morning after your birthday, when you came and stood by our bed at 6:30 a.m. holding your very first lost tooth. You had waited patiently, wiggled it back and forth until it pretty much popped out nearly on its own. I'm glad I got the before shot a few days prior! (At some point we'll have to talk about your aversion to the flash on my camera.)


You are still my outdoors boy and you love all kinds of animals. Granted, you have moved toward a great fascination with Legos and iPhone/Wii games, but I have no doubt you'll stay connected to nature and the beauty that God shows us there.




Daddy and I are so proud of you. And I'm so proud of your daddy for the example he sets for you every day. I tell you what a great dad you have, and I know you'll appreciate how much he's done as you get older. He is sweet and kind, patient and loving...and the silliness never hurts. I love seeing the two of you together, working in the yard or wrestling in your room, or just plain snuggling on the couch having a conversation. Whether you know it or not, these are the simple things you'll hold in your heart always.


Now me and you...we have a special bond too. It's just a bit different. I have wrestled with you, sure, but I can't do that like Daddy can. We laugh together, but I know there's a special kind of silliness that daddies and sons share. But me and you, Miles, our hearts connect in a special way. I love being that safe place you run to when the nightmares come, or the one who wipes the tears from your face when you fall down. Of course Daddy can do these things too, but I have a feeling that having me hold you close and giving you comfort is a little different -- I remember that with Granmom when I was a little girl.

There is a love that is so sweet between us, a love so pure. You and I went on a 'Mother/Son Date Night' last summer, and a few days later Miss Meagan mentioned that you had told her we had gone to our wedding. I laughed at the sweetness and innocence of it, and I think my heart might have grown in that moment to hold all the love.


Things are changing so much these days, Miles. By the time you start first grade, the three of us will be getting ready to meet your baby brother and sister. Even typing that I have trouble believing it, and I know there will be a lot of newness (and craziness) forced upon your life. I am slowly trying to prepare you, and at the same time knowing that I really can't be fully prepared myself for all the changes to come.

But there are a few things I can tell you, with 100% clarity and certainty, that will not change: I love you. Daddy loves you. God loves you.

As long as you've got all that love to lift you up, you'll be doing fine.


Love,

Mama

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Triumphant

If I'm not mistaken, this is the longest I've taken to write a birthday post for Miles. And it will be a little longer, because this is not that post. I did beat myself up just a bit the other day for not having it done yet, but I've decided to let that go for two very good reasons: Baby A and Baby B.

I still thought I'd post something in the meantime, and this will hopefully be an uplifting thing rather than bringing you down. As you might know, I went to the doctor a few weeks ago with a horrible cough (plus aches, chills and the occasional fever) and was told I had bronchitis. While I was there, my OB took the opportunity to draw a lot of blood for a number of other tests he felt might be necessary. At the time I felt inconvenienced since it took the phlebotomist a while to find test codes since they weren't all that common...looking back now, though, I'm grateful for the foresight my doctor had in ordering the labs he did.

A small side note: Since Casey and I began our IVF journey back in September 2009, we had collected quite a few sharps boxes (seven, to be exact). Sharps boxes are those plastic red boxes you see in doctors' offices and in hospitals where old needles/syringes are discarded. With every cycle came a box of meds, and with that box came a sharps box. We had seven because we'd been through five complete cycles plus two canceled cycles.

Fast forward to the present day, more than two years later, and we were still housing these things -- safely, mind you. But not a week had passed since my doctor visit and Casey came home declaring that he was finally going to get rid of them; had a medical care facility that would dispose of them safely for us. This was the closing of a chapter -- a small one, but a chapter nonetheless -- along our journey, and I was excited for it. Before Casey could take them all away, I lined the boxes up in the sun room and took pictures of them (we've established I'm strange, so leave it alone). After lunch, the boxes were whisked away by my ever-thoughtful husband.

Not two hours later, I received a call from my OB. He had the results from my labs, and unfortunately I had tested positive for the Lupus Anticoagulant. (Note: This does NOT mean I have Lupus. I know, it's confusing.) What it meant, even more unfortunately, was that I was going to have to start blood thinner injections. Injections. Because, you know, I haven't done that enough in the past two-plus years. I was able to get enough information from the doctor (I was on the way to pick up Miles from school) to understand the what and why of the test results, then hung up the phone feeling a mix of frustration, sadness and anger.

I called Casey from the school pick-up line, gave him the news and cried for a minute or two. My 'this isn't fair' signal was on high alert, but at the same time I felt a thankfulness and have felt it more as the days have gone by. Lupus Anticoagulant, as I understand, can cause late second and third trimester miscarriages, not to mention heart attacks and stroke. I am thankful that myself and the babies were spared some very scary possibilities, and that easily overshadows having to give myself an injection in my abdomen every day until these babies are six weeks old.

Don't get me wrong, I do not like doing this. Fortunately I am switching to a different blood thinner tomorrow morning which enables me to do just one injection a day as opposed to two a day, which I've been doing for two weeks now. My stomach is horribly bruised and sore in some places. It's not the happy pregnant belly I have wanted it to be...but I'm safe and my babies are safe from some crazy blood clot.

Here's the part where Miles comes in. Who knows why, but he is not afraid of watching me give myself an injection. He's only seen it a handful of times, and for the most part he's not that interested. He likes to count to three for me and that's about it. I try to be brave for him and show him that I'm okay and this stuff isn't so bad. It's helping me and the babies and he knows that.

So last week I picked him up from school, and as we're driving away he tells me I've got to see something he drew. He digs around in his backpack and pulls out a piece of paper, and he tells me that it's a picture of me with my belly and the shots. I took the paper and looked at it. The first thing I noticed was how high and round Miles had drawn my belly, and the second thing I noticed was the purple dots all over it. I asked Miles if it made him sad that I had to do the shots, and he said no. I was glad.

When I looked at the drawing later that day, I saw it differently. There I was, with my belly bruised with all the injections...but my arms were raised high in the air and I had a huge smile on my face. Whatever Miles meant when he drew it, I hope it meant that he sees me as triumphant no matter the circumstance. I hope that's what I've taught him.

Either way, it's probably my best portrait to date.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Pink/Blue Permanence

I don't get to be sneaky all that often. And with our journey of having another child, there weren't lots of ways to surprise anyone, especially ourselves. It's all numbers, labs and the waiting-for-what-seems-an-eternity game.

We told a few people that we'd be finding out the genders of the babies soon, and in fact the date scheduled with the doctor's office was this Friday -- Miles' sixth birthday. It was all very sentimental and sweet, but then last week I found out that Miles was off school today, so I called our doctor's nurse to see if there was any way of moving us up. And there was a cancellation! Here was one of my few chances to be sneaky.

So this afternoon Casey, Miles and I got to find out the big news. It was fun and sweet, and Miles kept rubbing my hand and smiling at me. We're not sharing names just yet, so if you've heard anything about names from us in the past...zip it! And as before, we thought we'd let Miles make the announcement:


video

Edited later to add this: Casey suggested I make the title for the post something that sounded like a 'Big Bang Theory' episode title...which led me to the thesaurus to find synonyms for the word 'fact'. I just thought my readers might enjoy that extra tidbit of information. That is, if you're strange like me.

Another edit: If you can't watch the video, it's just Miles saying, "We're having one boy and one girl!" In the first take I think he said 'one boy and two girls,' after which I said 'Cut!'

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Springtime & Babies Update

Today is so many things. It is one of my niece's birthdays, one of my uncle's birthdays...and of course, it is the first day of Spring. I can't help but hear Lola (of 'Charlie and Lola') in my head singing with her little friend Lotta: "Spring is here, Spring is here! Spring is -- Spring is -- Spring is here at last!"

My body has been waiting for this season. It doesn't like the cold weather, no matter how much I try. I will play in the snow and the leaves, but I don't ever fully embrace or welcome those days like I do the ones that bring green and flowers and sunshine.

My heart has been waiting for a different kind of Spring. Casey and I have talked many times about our 'winter' of grief, all that we went through as we were clinging to God and each other. And so it is a very happy coincidence that my physical and emotional springtimes are meeting up. I smile thinking about how amazing and creative our God can be.

I won't ramble on, but I thought I'd give a quick update on the babies, plus some pictures. This is partly because I know so many who have been through all of this craziness with us and prayed for us can't see me on a regular basis -- this post's for you, so I hope you're feeling that special warm fuzziness right about now!

Oh, wait...back up on the warm fuzzies, because first I'm going to show a photo of my last progesterone shot. For those of you still wondering if the in vitro decision is ever made on a whim, think again:

'Ouch' is the word you're looking for

That there is a 1-1/2" IM (intramuscular) needle with 2 cc's of PIO (progesterone in oil). Yes...in oil. We're talking sloooooooow-moving stuff. With in vitro, you have to have these once a day (switching hips helps, but not much) until you find out if the cycle worked or not. If it didn't, you stop the injections. I wish that they stopped with a positive test as well, but no. I started getting these shots on January 4, we found out we were pregnant on January 19...and my last progesterone shot was last week on March 14. That is 61 progesterone shots. I had lots of help from my RN friend Monica, but upon realizing we'd be doing this for eight more weeks, Casey and I decided we'd try it on our own. It wasn't easy by any means, but once you've done everything we have for these babies, it's just a matter of counting to three and breathing.

Okay, here's something that's a little easier to see (I hope!). I need to commit to the same outfit and/or same photo spot, but I'll get there.

Why do I look so different, just one week apart? I think that's because it's daytime in one and nighttime in the other, so the flash on the camera makes a difference. But if you're wondering if my belly actually grew in that week...it did. At this point in my pregnancy with Miles, there was no belly yet. I knew I'd show earlier this time, being that it was my second pregnancy, but last week when my OB informed me that I could be the size of a full-term pregnancy at 24 weeks...all I could think was 'I have a LOT of growing to do!' But I'm still feeling good, and being that I'm right on the edge of my second trimester I am very excited to get some energy back.

And now for pictures of the babies. Not everyone can say they have a photo of their kids at five days past fertilization, but we can! And no, smarty-pants, I don't know which is which.

Five-day blastocysts

Six weeks (first time we saw heartbeats)

Eight weeks

Ten weeks (they were moving around the whole time!)

Twelve weeks -- last Thursday (first OB appointment)
You might notice they switched which was A and which was B from the pictures before.
I love that they are lying feet to feet...they were so relaxed, just kind of hanging out.

Baby A says hi!
Heartbeats: Baby A was 165 and Baby B was 169
Both babies measured 12 weeks 1 day!

And for the finale, I saved a picture I took the other day. If this doesn't say springtime, nothing does. Casey decided to coach Miles' team this year (go Rockies!), so they were outside getting some swinging, catching and throwing practice in before the season starts.


 Just over three weeks before my first baby is six years old...I am so not ready.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bath Time: Overheard Conversation

Miles: "Somethin' is stinky in here!"

Casey: "Must be you!"

Miles (laughter): "Correct!"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thank You, God, For These Blessings!

So here it is, a day I thought might never come. Even though we've known for about four weeks, Casey and I are still catching ourselves smiling at each other and realizing that this is real. We are so blessed to be adding to our little family this fall...two precious babies. Our Miles will get to be a big brother twice over.



The short of it, in case there are questions: Yes, this was the result of an in vitro cycle. They are fraternal (unidentical) twins, meaning they could be any combination: boy/girl, boy/boy, or girl/girl. We won't know that for quite a bit longer, but we do plan on finding out before they're here!

I'm only one day past eight weeks today, so it's still early. We found out three weeks ago that there were two, but there wasn't much to see yet. A week after that we could see their hearts beating, and yesterday we saw them again and it was just as much if not more glorious than the first time. The fatigue started hitting me at least two weeks ago and is increasing by the day it seems, and I think the morning (or all-day) sickness is working its way in.

I'm ready to take whatever comes our way -- this is what I've been asking God for all along! All the pains, the hormones, the crazy ups and downs of emotions...they are a blessing that I gladly bear. I have imagined sharing this kind of news for nearly four years. God has grown me in such unique and unexpected ways during that time. I still hurt a bit for that Tracey and maybe will for a little while more. But from where I'm standing now, it was all worth the wait. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

I'll end with a fun video we made last night when we told our Thursday night 'The Office' students. I wish more could have been there but it was a great time anyway. We had told them we were taking a group picture to give to someone, but they didn't know I was actually taking video the whole time to capture their reactions...which they delivered nicely.

video

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Moments

Some years will be better than others. Some days will shine brighter than others. And some moments will grab your heart and remind you that yes, life can be so purely sweet and precious so you'd better just hold on and be thankful when they come.

There are some nights when I say goodnight to Miles and close his door that I find myself walking right back in to hold him again. I'll always want one more hug or kiss, one more beautiful smile from that boy, but some nights I truly feel the need to go back just one more time.

Last night I had kissed and hugged him, laughed with him, said goodnight and closed the door. I walked back to my room and sat on the bed, preparing to write in a journal. I didn't even have the chance to get comfortable when I heard a door open and little feet making their way towards me. This will occasionally happen -- Miles will want a drink of water or something -- but not immediately after we've said goodnight.

"What do you need, baby?" I asked as he walked over to me. He said nothing...just held out his little arms to give me a hug. One more hug. It's no wonder to me when I go back to him, but for this perfect five-year-old soul to come back to me means everything.

I picked him up and carried him back to his room, hugging and kissing him the whole way and thanking him for the extra love. I was standing by his bed, swaying and holding him just a little longer. With his head on my shoulder he said softly, "I love you one hundred Valentines."

Moments. Fast and fleeting. Glimpses of heaven. Hold on tight.
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