Monday, January 11, 2010

A Collection of Pictures

My children still talk about Samuel every day.  They initiate it, and he's clearly still on the front of their minds.  Sometimes they bring up Heaven or ask a question about Samuel or mention missing him.  Sometimes there are tears involved.  Sometimes they pretend they are Samuel or one of their stuffed animals is their baby brother.  The way they talk about him varies from day to day, but the consistency with which they think about him tells me how much more emotionally capable children are than we give them credit for.

Shortly before Christmas Joel accidentally broke a hurricane lamp on our table.  Caleb immediately burst into tears.  I was amazed at how he could articulate his sorrow.  He told me, "That lamp had stars on it that reminded me of the nativity at Gab'm's house.  The nativity reminds me of Jesus.  Jesus reminds me of Heaven, and Heaven reminds me of Samuel.  I am afraid I'm going to forget him."  I was fairly astonished at how Caleb could trace his associations and tell me what was going on in his little heart.  I assured him that he won't forget Samuel -- a concept I have not mentioned to him before and one that I wouldn't have thought he'd consider.  I showed him all the pictures we have of Samuel around the house and reminded him how we talk about Samuel.  I promised we won't stop talking about him or having pictures in the house.  This seemed to comfort Caleb.

A few mornings ago, I walked into Caleb's room to find him sitting on the floor, drawing on his new white erase board.  He announced, "I'm drawing Heaven."  I took a picture of it.

He carefully explained what everything was.  On the left is a huge swimming pool which he later decided is actually a big fountain.  The small blue spot near the center is an indoor pool.  Beneath that is a some pink and purple that Caleb says are roofs -- and under them is where Samuel is currently sleeping.  The green patch is partly a field and partly tennis courts.  The big brown spot is a playground.  And the black up in the right corner is where God and Jesus are staying right now.  Just below the black square is a black line -- it's the bench where Jesus sits to watch the children playing.  I love having a glimpse into how Caleb imagines Heaven, and I love the idea of Jesus watching my Samuel playing.  I can imagine Jesus delighting in how Samuel's running, laughing, and enjoying Heaven with complete abandon.  It's a sweet picture, and I am grateful to Caleb for it.

I thought I'd also post some random pictures from the last few weeks or so.  Here is Bryan's latest pancake masterpiece.  It's a Transformer:

And here is a picture of the boys' stockings from before Christmas.  I love the snowman theme.  It was actually a happy accident.  Joel had a different stocking, but his Grammie surprised us and made this one for him.  I was thrilled to find it's a snowman as Caleb and Samuel had snowmen stockings already.  (Grammie made Caleb's too -- when he was a baby.)

And here is a picture of Bryan holding our sweet niece June:

Over Christmas we went to a portrait studio and had pictures taken of the extended family.  I love the one of my mom with all the grandkids, but Samuel's absence seems so noticeable to me.  The one of our immediate family captures, to me, the reality of all photos of our family now.  We are "four of us" instead of "the four of us."   I am sad we'll never have another picture with all of our family in it.

Lastly, I snapped this picture on our drive home from Texas.  We had had a horrible night's sleep in a hotel at the halfway point, and both boys konked out on the second day of the drive.  I turned around to see them holding hands while sleeping, and I love that.  The moments where I see Caleb and Joel's friendship are so wonderful.  What spectacular children we have!


  1. I love the picture of the boys holding hands. Mom had a quote on our fridge growing up that said, "Be kind to your siblings. They are the closest link to your past and the ones most likely to stick with you in your future." What a blessing it is to have such a sweet sister, and it seems that your boys are growing to be great friends. Thank you for sharing a little glimpse of their hearts.

  2. That last picture of Caleb and Joel is beyond adorable! Thank you for sharing.