Tuesday, March 8, 2011

For the son I never held

Monday was one of those days that has a deeper, more profound impact on you than you realize. The impact was not from anything that happened during the day itself, but something that happened a long time ago. Twenty-two years ago Monday my second son Timothy was born. He lived only minutes and then joined his brother Johnathan in heaven. I never saw Timothy alive, a fact that haunts me to this day.

Johnathan's death was sudden and unexpected and frightening. Like any first time father-to-be I bonded quickly with my son. When Johnathan died a part of me died too, and I was hesitant to embrace the prospect of being a father again. From the beginning of the pregnancy everything was different. Different treatment plan, different emotions, different me. I had a very difficult time embracing Timothy. I am ashamed to admit these things, but they are the reality of those moments.

The years have blunted those feelings, but not the memory. I am grateful that God has blessed me with six other children and I have learned to love them with all my heart. I do regret that I couldn't enjoy our brief time with Timothy but I rejoice that he has always only known the peace of God's presence. That knowledge is my hope, the thing that gave me the strength to take the step that started me to life again. Timothy's memory is the understanding that God is always active in my life, even when I can't see Him or understand what's going on. I can honestly tell you that I have come to the point that I wouldn't want him to leave heaven to be with me for any reason. I know that one day I will be with him and that is enough.

My life has been filled with disappointment and sorrow, but it has also been filled with the hand of God. From the very first moment that I placed my trust in Him He has been active. God's plan has always been to guard me from the worst while teaching me about who He is. His purposes are not always clear to me but I have come to understand that His desire has always been to draw me close to Him. I have come to understand that death is not something to be feared because He is greater even than death.

Thank you Timothy for teaching me how to live.

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