Friday, July 26, 2013

Noah Bear

lately i've been grieving the loss of noah for more than just me and my husband. obviously there is a huge hole in our hearts and our own family, but i'm realizing we aren't the only ones missing out on noah being here. he's not only a son, but a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, a church member, a buddy.

he's also a cous-twin.

my husband has a twin brother. and his twin brother's wife and i were pregnant at the same time. (we also both started dating around the same time and got married within a few months of each other, too. what can you say... they're twins.)

we also were both having boys. their sweet nash was born 3 months before noah and his mommy and me were super excited for them to meet, dress alike and obviously become best buddies.

my husband's parents have their 40th wedding anniversary this summer and 'us kids' had planned for months that we would take them away for the weekend to celebrate. and last weekend was that weekend.

i had spent many months building up in my mind how wonderful and exciting it would be to have noah with us on that weekend... to be the newest member of the family for everyone to get to know, and especially to hang with his buddy nash.

it just so happened that the day before we were to leave for the weekend, my husband and i went to our first support group. every person there had lost a baby. i hate the reasons that brought us all together to that meeting, but i'm thankful for the encouragement we can give each other. knowing you're not alone is a powerful healer. anyway, near the end of the meeting i offhandedly shared that i was a little nervous about going on a family weekend that was happening the next day. noah was supposed to be there and i knew i would probably be a wreck.

our support group suggested we bring a stuffed animal that represented noah and it could be sort of a "stand in" for family pictures and such. this brought me so much comfort and i'm not really sure why, it's a little silly logically, but, to me, it's a physical reminder that noah is a part of our family and there is a special space for him.

we immediately knew the little guy who would join us that weekend to stand in noah's place. while noah was in the hospital, his sweet nurses suggested that we bring in some stuffed animals for him to cuddle with. and this was one of his buddies who was keeping him company 24/7.

so during our family weekend, this happened...

Our cous-twin picture, Noah + Nash

luckily you can't really tell, because nash's mommy and me do a good job hiding it, but we're bawling.

i can't tell you how much this picture meant to me, in that moment.
noah was remembered.

noah is remembered.

as all noah's cousins grow up, they will learn about this amazing little boy who was alive on this earth for only 13 days but is alive and well in our memories forever. and the noah bear will help us do that.

and maybe, God willing, noah will have siblings who'll fall in love with him, too.