There are many things people say to try to comfort those who are grieving. We just can't stand to see others hurting, and so we try to say something, anything, that might help. One that I've heard a lot is that you "are in a better place." I've even heard people say that you are "lucky to miss out on all the terrible things in this world."
Hm, a better place? Lucky? I know heaven must be wonderful, but I'd also like to think that our family is too. Don't get me wrong, this life can be very difficult and cruel, no one understands that more than me right now. But there are also some incredible moments that everyone should get to live.
After you were born, we kept you in our room for almost an entire day. Dad rocked you and whispered tales of football heroes and of the wildlife he loves so much. I held you up to the window so you could see the majestic mountains overhead. The mountainsides were beginning to glow orange and red as the leaves on the trees changed colors. And I began to bawl. You will never get to see those beautiful mountains we love so much. You will never get to hike the trails with us, picking up leaves and rocks as you go. You will never get to sit in Romney Stadium and watch the Aggies play football. You will never get to throw a baseball in the backyard with Dad and Sam.
How can people say you are in a better place when you have a family that would love you to pieces and show you all the good this world has to offer?
My parents offered me the happiest childhood a girl could know. I want that for my children as well. And I find myself lately trying to shove three happy childhoods into only two children. I feel like I have to give it to you, whether you are here physically or not, because I feel you deserve it too. I feel as though we need to live this life to the fullest, in case you are allowed to live vicariously through us.
So, in an attempt to create some of the happiest memories a child could want, we went to Disneyland last week. We entered those gates and I felt as though all cares and troubles melted away. Nothing mattered but our family - you and Halle and Sam. And for those three days life revolved around us.
It was a wonderful vacation. The kids enjoyed every moment of it. And Dad and I felt like kids again, enjoying even the simplest of things. We even went to the beach so the kids could see the ocean for the very first time. Halle was mesmerized by the waves and Sam couldn't keep his artistic fingers out of the sand and drawing murals.
But there was one moment, on the last day, that I felt my emotions well up inside. Maybe it was the knowledge that this fantasy world was all going to be gone in the morning. And maybe it was the reminder that I will never get to take you to Disneyland in the flesh. But whatever the reason, somewhere between seeing the Toy Story army men playing their drums and posing for pictures with Lightning McQueen and Mater, I began to sob. Yup, right there in the middle of "the happiest place on earth" I broke down and cried.
I miss you buddy. I wish you could see the tulips poking out of the dirt in our front flower bed. I wish I could take you to see the baby lambs down the rode. I wish you could feel the spring air outside and smell the newness all around. I wish you could hear your brother and sister talk of you and pray for you.
But perhaps you do see and hear and feel all these things. I feel you so near sometimes. I think that if I could just look hard enough, I would see you right here beside me.
I'll never stop living for you, Luke. I'm going to experience all the wonderful things this life has to offer in case you are here with me. I want you to know that, wherever you are, there is a family here who loves you beyond all comprehension and will never forget you. And that is the greatest thing I can offer you in this life and the next to come.