Over the next few hours, amidst smatterings of sleep, getting the kids up, and starting breakfast, I remembered the time we spent ushering Samuel into Jesus' arms -- the songs we sang, prayers we prayed, tears we wept, loving words we cooed. I remember so much of that day from 5:30am-2:30pm that I think I could piece it together almost in its entirety. After 2:30, I lose the thread of it and only have bits and pieces, but from the moment we woke until the moment we got home from the hospital, it is crystal clear. Bryan's time holding Samuel, getting a second turn myself, the doctors telling us we could turn off the oscillator because Samuel was close enough to death, me asking to leave it on until he had died on his own, the doctor later declaring him dead, the silence that echoed louder than I could have imagined once the oscillator was quieted for the first time in 7 days, Bryan holding Samuel's body for a long while, leaving the CICU for the last time a couple of hours later, and so many other details as well.
Because Samuel died around 9:15 in the morning, the anniversary was heaviest during those hours leading up to his death. Once it was mid-morning, I felt significantly less burdened than when I woke. I still had a cloud over me, knowing we were going to the grave, but it wasn't as heavy. We headed to the grave after lunch and stopped at Michael's for our traditional purchasing of new fake flowers to replace the old ones. At the grave, we put in the flowers, sang songs, and talked some about Samuel.
|Caleb wanted a picture with just him by the grave.|
Bryan and I both noticed that the anniversary grows less intense each year, and I am thankful for that. I think each year we see evidence of God's healing in our lives, and there is so much for which to praise Him. Most of all, I praise Him for giving us Samuel, for granting us the month of August with him, and for safely seeing my baby Home to the place where he is whole, healed, and lacks for absolutely nothing. August 31st was the greatest day Samuel ever could have known, and for that, there is much to celebrate. Now that it's September, I breathe a sigh of relief to have another set of anniversaries behind us. And once again I look at this family God has given me on earth, and I can't help but burst with gratitude and love. We are so full -- full-hearted and overflowing with blessings. God didn't have to paint it that way, and I will never stop thanking Him that He has.