Sunday was Cooper's birthday.
August 9, 2005
Four years ago on that day, I became a mom.
I struggled on whether or not to share about it on here...
Cooper will forever be a part of us. There is not a day that goes by that Devin and I don't talk about him and miss him. It would hurt us more to NOT talk about him or to not see pictures of him and to not remember him...I've often said that the no one could do more for us than to remember him. To acknowledge that even though he is not with us, he is still a part of us. It's such an awkward thing for other people, though. I get that. I can imagine...no one knows what to say or do....and I would never want to make it more uncomfortable for others. But, I feel like I share all the things that Belle is doing on here, and I just wouldn't feel right not acknowledging Cooper's birthday. I know that for some parents, it might be easier to not talk about it...I get that, too. But for us, it is.
I am so thankful that I had last week at the beach. A whole week to prepare for it. There is NOTHING that we do that we don't wish Coopie was right there in the middle of it. My mom and I were down by the water one afternoon and we just cried thinking about him and wishing he was with us. It is always the "What would he be doing" and "what would he be like now"s that hurt the most. He would be so sweet with his baby sister, I just know it.
As Sunday got closer, I started to really dread it and wanted to just block it out. Just thinking about it made me want to crawl in bed and stay for a few weeks to get myself back 'together.' When we talked about what we were going to do for his birthday this year, I couldn't decide. Last year, a few of us met at the cemetery on the morning of his birthday and released balloons. Honestly, just doing that last year, was about all I could muster up the will to do.
Cooper was such an amazing little person. I know that all parents think that about their children, but he really was just exceptional. So smart and silly and sweet and adorable. PURE JOY... Every day that we spent with him was that way---I am so thankful that we realized that from the beginning and that it did not take us loosing him to see it. I am so thankful that we don't have any regrets and that I know he knew how loved and special he is. After his accident, I remember telling myself that he would always be part of us, and that we'd always celebrate his birthdays and make sure that if he had brothers or sisters, that they knew about him, too. But, it is so hard to think about his birthday and not be sad. It's so hard to 'celebrate' on that day. We haven't gotten there just yet. I am not sure if we ever will. No doubt, August 9, is one of the best days of our lives...the day we became parents. But not having the precious boy who made us parents, here to celebrate, makes it a very sad one. This year we decided to do like last year, and meet at the cemetery to release balloons again. We met Cooper's Grammy & Pop, and Pappy & Granny there...I don't really know what we'd do without those four...we talked about our sweet boy and how much we all missed him, and at 8:51 (which is his actual birth time) we sent our balloons heaven-ward... is that a word?!?!?
We also decided to do a little more this year and have Cooper's favorite (cheese grits) for lunch. My parents had gown down to Cedar Key the day before to buy some fresh grouper, and so they cooked that with all the 'fixings'...I made a small orange (Coopie's favorite color) cake. We did exactly what I hoped we would. We remembered our son.
There's so much heartache in the world. People suffering losses of every kind...I don't know why some babies are born sick. Or why some perfectly healthy kids, like Cooper, die tragically in accidents. I don't know why people get cancer. Or why some couples who desperately want babies can't get pregnant, and so many people can and have abortions. I don't know why some marriages end and others make it.
But, here's what I do know about loss and heartache...
- I know that the God I serve is a loving and compassionate God, full of mercy. (Lamentations 3:32-33).
- I know that He never promised a life free of sorrow and pain. But He did promise us peace and comfort, even during those difficult times. (John 16:33)
- I know that He is near the brokenhearted. (Psalm 34:18).
- I know that every good and perfect gift is from ABOVE. (James 1:17)
- I know that He has a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11), and that He knows every day I will have on this earth before I was ever born (Psalm 139:13-17).
- I know that I don't understand it, but I also know that I don't have to. (Isaiah 55:8-9).
- and most importantly, I know that He LIVES.
"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God." -Job 19:25-26
Because of that, even in the most horrible circumstances imaginable, in the deepest sorrow and grief, I know that there is HOPE. (1 Thess. 4:13).
I know these things, not just because The Word of God says so, but because I have experienced them. If I have learned anything FIRSTHAND it's the above.
I do not understand why my life has turned out they way it has and quite frankly, I don't think it's fair....But life isn't fair. We live in a fallen world... a world cursed by man's first sin, and nothing will be right and perfect until we get to Heaven. Thank you, Lord, for that. For the gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life. I pray that every person who reads this "knows that they know that they know" (that's the baptist coming out in me) that they have an eternal home in Heaven. There is nothing more important than having that settled and secure. And there's not a better feeling than being certain of it.
We made it through another one of his birthdays without Cooper. It's hard to believe that we've had 2 without him, and we only had 2 with him.
There will never be a day we don't miss him....and wait anxiously until we are reunited....