Monday, January 9, 2012

Dear Samuel (from Christmas 2009)

Dear Samuel,

Tomorrow we will celebrate Christmas in our house.  Next week we head to Gab'm's for Christmas in Dallas.  This year will be a first for us -- our first Christmas as parents who have lost a son.  Honestly I don't want to celebrate Christmas without you, but how could I not celebrate Jesus, in whose very presence you now eternally celebrate?

I miss you so much, but I know you don't miss us.  You're part of the grandest celebration ever.  You are whole, full, well, and joyful.  You sing and dance and play on streets of gold, at the feet of Jesus.  You are blessed.  And you have the amazing joy of growing up in the presence of the Lord.  You lack nothing, feel no pain, experience no sorrow.  For all of this I am grateful.

Samuel, I have learned so much from you and your life.  I have learned to trust God in deeper and more real ways.  I have learned a truer humility and gentleness.  I appreciate compassion and kindness deeply.  I understand genuine joy and how different it is from happiness.  I have experienced God's grace in new and mighty ways, and I have learned to love more completely.  You have taught me these things.

The month I spent by your side was one of the most precious months of my life -- perhaps the most precious.  What a joy and privilege it was to sing to you, stroke your head, hold your hand, pray with you, read The Chronicles of Narnia to you, and tell you about your brothers and how much we all love you.  Those were days I will always treasure in my heart.  You will always be in my heart.

Today your daddy and I went back to Egleston for the first time.  It's part of our effort to honor you and remember you in a way that blesses others.  We took 20 dozen baked goods to the CICU staff to say thank you for how they cared for you and us in August.  Your favorite nurse, Richard, was there as were Dr. Kim, Dr. Jen Brown, Jennifer (you were her favorite CICU patient ever), Sherese, and Lucretia.  And we saw one of your friends, Sarah Beth.  It was hard for your daddy and I to see her and know it could have been you we were smiling down upon.  But I wouldn't want to call you back from the place of wholeness and joy where you are.  But selfishly my arms feel empty, and my heart is heavy.  How I would have loved to celebrate Christmas with you, my sweet son.

Daddy and I have decided to start several traditions to honor you at Christmas each year.  We let Caleb and Joel pick something from World Vision to use your Christmas money toward.  This year Joel chose to buy 5 ducks for a family, and Caleb chose to help orphans.  Your brothers talk about you often -- every day -- and ask about Heaven a lot.  They both miss you terribly and looks forward to seeing you again one day.  As a family we are also giving money to a missionary couple in Indai who work with slum children and to Samaritan's Purse Children's Heart Project which raises money to fly a child and 1 parent to the U.S. for life-saving heart surgery.

Samuel, we have heard so many stories of how you have changed and blessed people's lives.  You've made a tremendous impact on people.  Some people have begun a new relationship with Jesus because of you, and some have come back to Him after a time away.  Many trust God more because of you.  You have touched so many, and you have especially touched my heart.  I will never be the same after having loved and known you.  I love you Samuel Erik Apinis, and I always will.  I look forward to the day when I can see you again and scoop you up in my arms and shower you with kisses and hold you close to my heart.  Samuel, you are a gift, and I love you deeply.

Merry Christmas, sweet baby.  Give Jesus a kiss and hug from me, please, and tell Him Happy Birthday.

I love you!

Love, Momma

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful! I love the ways you are honoring Samuel. Thanks for sharing.