For those of you that were unable to attend Owen’s Celebration of Life, I wanted to share my letter to him with you…
My precious son, Mama’s Boy, my ferocious lion heart, my gentle sweet bobo’s, my lil’ troublemaker, the Mighty Warrior Romeo, the nurses boyfriend, my #1 boyfriend, Baby Olen, Jaxon’s lil’ Brudda, our complicated little bugger, our lil’ tough guy O-Dawg, my tiny peanut, my sweet baby, Baby O, my world, my everything, and my precious deep love love.
Owen, from the second, I learned that God chose you for our family my heart overflowed. I prayed for you every day and loved every moment of you being in my belly. From day one you stirred things up! I mean come on since when did I eat that much steak and potatoes and really, sour patch kids?! The day you were born I was a rush of emotions. I was scared to death but man you would not allow fear. There were so many people rushing around the operating room yet there was a peace and stillness when you arrived. In that moment I felt a love surrounding us that I never knew was possible. We waited to hear your cry but as always you had other plans. I didn’t get to see you in that moment my sweet boy but know my heart and my soul were so full of you and will always be full of you. I did everything I could to get to you. The day I finally got to meet you was one of the happiest days of my life. You were covered in so many things but all I saw was your precious face. The wires and tubes were invisible to me. I made a vow that day to never leave your side.
The early days in the ICU, I would sit and rub your forehead for hours. Those days are some of my first favorite memories. I will always remember the moment your daddy told me to give you your first kiss. You were so sick and I was so scared but in that precious kiss between us we both felt life. Your Daddy and I were so excited to see you quickly begin to recover and I knew that there was a force to be reckoned with between this Mama, Dada and their son. I never stopped kissing you!!!
Your motto was slow and steady and I am so thankful for that. We got to spend every milestone with you, cheering you on and celebrating even the smallest victories. With all that you had going on, all the machines that would beep, all of the illnesses that you were fighting you still radiated with a beautiful sense of peace. The hospital is so full of noise and chaos, in your room, by your bed was a silence that calmed every soul.
It took 57 days for you to take your first unassisted breath. I will always treasure that moment. The pride we felt for our boy overcoming the biggest machine in the room and the ONE that held me back from holding you 24/7 was so immense. The look on your face was priceless. You looked up at us with a face that said… “See I told ya guys, I got this. When will ya’ll just trust me”! From that moment on, you spent a lot less time in your crib and endless hours in the arms of your Daddy and I. We studied every wrinkle, every place we longed for a little more chubbiness, and every angle of your perfect body. We were told that there was a strong possibility you would not have a voice when you were extubated but oh my did you ever! You had A LOT to say. You are definitely MY son!
There are so many things I will miss about you my sweet boy. Your giggle took my breath away. I could sit and hold your hand for hours listening to your angelic voice tell me all the things you needed to say. I watched you discover yourself and the world around you with such amazement. I loved watching you light up and find new friends on your play mat otherwise known as your “safe zone”, feel the wind, also known as the a/c, blow on your face, and your wonderment on the many transports throughout the hospital was so incredible. You were on your way to get a test yet you found joy in it. You found joy in every breath you took, every visitor you had, every game you played with your dad and every snuggle you received from me. You spread that joy to us every day. Your nurses felt your joy even when you were peeing on them. The doctors felt your joy when you would stump them and they would finally figure out your tricks! The surgeons felt your joy when you would show off in rounds. We vow to never forget that joy, your smile is forever engrained in our minds and our hearts.
Please know we are brokenhearted for ourselves but immensely overjoyed for you because you are free with Jesus in paradise. You are free from tubes, lines, scars, pain, and your hospital crib. Safely home… Finally well.
There is no single way to grieve and we are all missing the joy of Owen’s sweet smile here on earth but I entrust that we will pick right back up where we left off when we have the pleasure of meeting our precious son again in the most beautiful place.
To all the Mothers out there: I beg of you… Hug your babies tighter, breathe in the scent of your babies hair, just take a minute to breathe, nibble their perfect toes, hold their precious tiny hands, kiss your children. Play harder, laugh more, don’t tell your children later. This life is but a blip until we meet again with our heavenly father. Allow them to cook with you and make a mess! Build sand castles and splash in the waves. Jump in the pool and get your hair wet. Play hide and seek. Laugh with no abandon. Read to them and be outdoors with them. See your children through your eyes not through your cell phone. Listen to them, value and respect them, I beg of you do not shame them. The lessons you teach and the words you give them will carry them their whole life. You have the ability to give them wings or stunt their growth. Let your children soar! Motherhood can be tough. It can be boring, tedious and suffocating, but it never lasts for long. The 16 weeks I experienced with Owen was full of challenges and pain and above all an inexplicable joy that I could never put to words and never replicate. It is but a blink. It is an honor and a privilege to be Owen’s Mom. I am thankful for every tear, every smile, and every sad face that was quickly turned upside with a bounce on a ball or a sweet kiss.
“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me. No wonder my heart s glad and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave, You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever.” (Psalm 16:8-11)