Our precious Zoe is now eight months old. This baby has brought our family so much joy, so much healing. She has been the closest thing to closure that we feel like we've had since our giant loss of sweet Gabriel. She is so happy, always beaming. She's very into eating and trying new foods now, and we can no longer enjoy a meal around her without offering her a little something. She's very close to crawling, but is definitely getting herself around a room already! She says "dada" all day long and whenever her Daddy walks in the room. She has also said - mama, doggie, and hi -although not everyone believes me, haha. Enjoy these pictures of our Zoe girl!!
I love to talk to Joel about his brother, Gabe. I wouldn't ever want him to hear about him from someone else, and to think, "Why didn't anyone ever tell me I had a brother?" So, we keep photos of Gabriel around our house and love to hear just how Joel remembers things we've told him about Gabe's short life.
The other day, Kyle was feeling sad, so I simply explained to Joel that sometimes Daddy is sad because he misses Gabe. And sometimes Mommy gets sad, because she misses Gabe. Joel just sat there and thought for a second and then spoke up, "I have an idea! Why don't we all just go up to Heaven to be with him??"
So, tonight as I'm getting Joel ready for bed, I asked him if he remembered his brother's name...
Joel: Yes, Gabe.
Me: That's right. And where is he?
Joel: In Heaven.
Me: Yes, he is. And do you know why?
Joel: (Thinks for a minute...) Because he is with Jesus, and they love us.
Me: (Stunned after that short and simple explanation...) If anyone ever asks you where your brother is, you can tell them that he is in Heaven, and he's not here with us because Gabe was very sick.
Joel: Momma, is Gabe a baby or a big boy?
Me: (Trying to decide how to answer...) He was a baby when he left us to go to Heaven, so he is a baby.
Joel: Well, when we bring him to OUR house, he'll be a big boy.
I was too stunned to continue our conversation. Wow. Well, yes he will. When we are reunited with Gabe, we will all be in Heaven. And the bible talks about having a glorious home there. What a nice picture - my entire family, together, forever.
So after a romantic dinner with my amazing hubby, we decided to head over to Target and the surrounding stores. Just a few moments into our adventure, I take a look around, notice all the St. Patty's Day and Spring decorations and realize that I haven't decorated Gabriel's gravesite since Christmas. I cannot even describe into words the amount of guilt that came flooding in. Kyle assured me that we would take some time to shop and devote some much needed time to our son...
A few days later I walked back into the store and the delightful trip I had imagined quickly turned into the reality that I was trying to find the perfect objects for my son's GRAVE. I watched other happy people looking and gathering items and just wanted to walk up to them and say, "Oh, what's that for? Probably something a lot less sad than a gravesite." I know. Mature.
I ended up choosing a few things for my Gabey baby and then made the quick decision that I also needed to spruce up my back porch area. This, obviously, was just a way to stop the more difficult task I found myself in. Here's what we ended up creating, something I was very happy with:
Found a cute little Easter rabbit, a flag with a tie-wearing boy bunny, and a precious pastel-colored bell wreath to hang near his flag. There were some St. Patty's beads left from a friend, along with some toys for my little man.
Okay, so back to the shopping trip... I start looking around for decorative items for our back porch area. I'm having a blast (cause it's so much more fun than what I WAS doing) and I'm trying to figure out what kind of "theme" to go with. Oh decisions, decisions. After much thought, and acquiring input from the hubby, I decided that birds would be a precious theme. Decided to get a hanging sign above our bench:
And some pretty garland perfectly placed around the bench, and a handsome perched bird to go on our side table...
And as I started assembling all my decorations, I realized that my chosen theme was PERFECT. The only piece of Gabey I have sitting on my back porch - a white ceramic angel... holding what?? A tiny bird....
Couldn't be happier with my finished product...