“May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams. May the laughter that you find in your tomorrow wipe away the pain you find in your yesterdays.” – Unknown
Seven years ago my wife and I were awaiting the birth of our first son, Adam Christian. Sadly, Adam didn’t make it. He died on 24 April 2005, and was still-born a day later at just over 37 weeks gestation (full term). He was a big boy, coming in at 8 lbs, 11 oz, with a head full of black hair.
Ever since then I have taken the 24th & 25th off from work to stay home with my wife and the three boys we have had since. We’ll go out and visit the cemetery on the 24th and then grab some lunch before settling in for a slow-paced, lazy afternoon. The first year we were obviously an emotional wreck, but old wounds scar over time and the emotional pain diminishes. To be sure, there are still some tears: we still tear up when we look at the letters we wrote to him before the funeral, or the plaster caste of his little baby foot, or the sonogram images … but seven years changes things.
These days it has become much more of an opportunity to focus on family and spending time with our other three boys. Today we’re heading to “pump it up” (one of those places that has a dozen or so “bounce houses” of varying styles). We go and play and laugh and have a raucous good time.
It’s all very “Malachi 4:6” – “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Turning the hearts of the fathers to their children. Of the things we hope to accomplish in life, these relationships seem to be the ones that last. Kids absorb love and affection like sponges. We have these few, fleeting years to pour into them and then they’ll go off to live their lives. Do it right and the peace and confidence that results will propel them throughout life. Miss it, and fear and doubt will be like a weight they drag around always.
So on Adam’s Day we take the chance to celebrate and be thankful. Now I’m off to see if I can survive the bounce houses … I may need a nap later today.