Five years ago today, our lives changed forever. In one moment, all that we had been was shattered. In that moment, a stranger laid her hand on my pregnant belly and told us that you were going to die. Tears in her eyes, her first words were not explanation or diagnosis. Just a whispered, “Poor, poor baby,” as life as we knew it came to an end.
And I remember in those early, agonizing days stumbling upon a small stack of photos. Some candid wedding shots. One of daddy, laughing as always. And me, smiling in the sunshine. And I remember weeping for those two people, the people we once were. My heart hurt for them as they smiled back up at me. They had no idea what was to come.
And yet now, I think back on those two smiling faces, and I do not regret the path that lay ahead of them. I look back on the people that we once were, and I am so glad that you came to change us. Loving you, my Owen, transformed us. Loving you made us the people we were meant to be. You taught us more in your brief time on this earth than we could have hoped to learn in a thousand lifetimes. It is because you were different, my sweetheart, that we are different too.
In the past five years, there has been more heartache and more joy than we could have fathomed living in a lifetime. More tears than any parent should ever have to cry. Losses beyond our comprehension. Five years. Four children. Two goodbyes. Four blessings. And a path more beautiful than any we could have chosen for ourselves. Each and every day, we thank God for this journey. Because the light is so much brighter when reflected through lingering tears. And the gifts that we’ve been given outweigh every fracture of our hearts.
Your daddy and I are so grateful, my sweet Owen. So grateful for YOU. And for the path that began that day five years ago, when our lives changed forever.