I was 22 years old on that Tuesday morning in August of 2005 when we left our house with great anticipation of meeting our son. It was so early that red lights down Newberry Road were still all turned to flashing caution lights.
Looking back, I was just a baby myself…having a baby. Cooper was the only one of our children who was a “surprise” and we are eternally grateful for those forgotten pills and the perfect gift that came from them. :)
Like most young parents, I couldn’t believe they were actually letting us take him home from the hospital. I am sure it was because they knew my parents were going to be staying with us for two weeks while I healed from my c-section. Either way, they let us wheel him down to the front and still didn’t stop us when we didn’t even know how to hook his car seat and the nurse had to show us how.
DW drove and I sat in the back and stared at that sweet tiny boy. I had a six inch incision, hadn’t slept in two days, and my chest was increasingly growing massive in size and felt like it was on fire --- but still in that moment, EVERYTHING in the world seemed good.
We were young and naive and still living safely within the walls of a life that hadn’t experienced an earth shattering tragedy. Sure, we knew bad things happened, but until they happen directly to you, its easy to push fears and thoughts of the bad things to the back of your mind.
We loved being parents from the start. We enjoyed our boy and made a lifetime worth of memories in our 27 months with him. It didn’t take loosing him for us to realize what a gift he was, and I will always be grateful that we don’t have to live with that regret.
It’s always a hard time of year for us, as his birthday gets close. Its hard to not focus on the “how it should be’s” or “what if’s” --- it’s hard to think of a way to celebrate him when the reality of him not being here still hurts so very much.
All I can keep telling myself is that God is good. And I believe that with my whole heart. He is faithful and He continues to sustain us and carry us through the hard days. He loves us and has blessed our lives tremendously by giving us family and friends who do, too.
Cooper changed our lives. He was an extraordinary little boy- and of course, I’m completely partial. :)We will love him and miss him until we are with him again – but until then, we will always, always, always (even when it hurts) celebrate his little life and the joy he brought to ours.