Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy happy birthday my sweet boy!

Happy happy birthday my sweet boy! I am writing to you on Saturday...tomorrow will be busy. What is it like to be 2 in heaven? Is it a party? Is there cake? Are you running or still waddling? I am sure you are talking. Probably even still a little bossy.
What I want more than anything I can think of is to hug you. Get my last hug as a one year old tonight. And the first 2 year old hug tomorrow. The truth is I got my last hug on March 1st. That was the last earthly hug I will ever get from you. There is an ache there. An ache to hold you. An ache to know every.single.thing. you do each day. Every.single.
I knew your birthday would be packed with Eating 4 Ezra, so I went out to your cave (as Izzy calls it) to spend some time alone. Izzy gave me some toys for you. (Side note: Your brother misses you like crazy. He talks about you, he talks to you, and he talks of going to Heaven to be with you daily. ❤️)
I have been trying to gather my thoughts about your birthday all day now. I try to imagine what you would be like, but how can I? The truth is today I am spent. I am exhausted. And I miss you. We all miss you.
Happy birthday Ezra! We will celebrate and honor you all day with many others. Party with Jesus little one! I am confident that Heaven throws better birthday parties than Earth ever could!
Love you so much I could burst baby boy! ❤️❤️

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Elections & Emotions

The last couple of days it started.
My heart is heavy.
Dread fills me.
Overwhelming sadness accompanies me.
I just could not figure out what was going on. Why was I feeling dark, heavy? It would come and go during the last few days.
But TODAY...today it has been HEAVY. So heavy. It didn’t make any sense
It is NOT the election..I am at peace with the fact that my GOD is still King no matter the results...
It took me till 2 pm to figure out what it was.
It’s election day.
It’s Tuesday.
Ezra died on March 1st. He died on Super Tuesday. He died on the last big election day. Primaries. So every single sticker that says “I Voted” is triggering something I didn’t even know was there to trigger. It’s the symbol of the day when my life turned upside down.
When all my friends were voting (and yay that they do that), I was leaving the hospital without my baby.
Forever.
How does one even do that?
So when you were watching election results, I was being investigated. I was telling my kiddos that their brother with Jesus.
While you slept soundly that night, I was up all night desperately making sure the kids were breathing, listening to the guttural moans of my husband, and holding the shaking, shock filled body of my oldest.
So today the grief is heavy, the flashbacks frequent, and the tears continuous. And that is ok.
I will...once again… give it all over to the ONE who holds my heart in HIS hands. ❤️
#MissYouE
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Ezra, the Adventure [8 Months]

How repetitive is it if I say “How can it have been 8 months?’ I just can not believe how very fast time is flying by. I wish I could pause it. I feel like we are on a runaway train with no brakes. Life, the train, keeps gaining speed and I have no control over that. You, my boy, are missed fiercely. You are talked about and prayed for every. Single. Day. We are different people because we have loved you and have been loved by you. We have holes in our heart for sure. BUT we are braver, stronger, and kinder too. We are purposeful in walking through fears that creep up now. Life is too short to let fear rule. (And there are the 100’s of times that God says fear not in the Bible.) You have changed our behavior forever sweet one. We are thankful for that.
This past month was eventful around here. I turned 40. Your siblings say that I am “over the hill”, but how about if I am just on top of the hill? I’ll hang out on top for the next 40 years. Surely, you can stay on top for a while and don’t have to go straight over the hill :)
We made it through the entire Dittos week without a complete life altering experience. I call that victory.

Last week we went to the pumpkin patch. Without you. I have been dreading it like crazy. Last year’s pictures are some of my very, very, very favorite. Even the outtake ones….hilarious. Instead of corralling an almost 2 year old and cajoling you to look at the camera, we carried an 8x10 of you around. It was your sister’s idea. They all picked out which picture, and we framed a picture of you. We are now those people. People that make people uncomfortable. We talk about death. We talk about Heaven. We carry photos of you wishing so greatly that it was actually you.
If that wasn’t enough overcoming, we had the 1st Eating 4 Ezra event. You, sweet boy, were honored all day long. You are helping to raise awareness of SUDC and funding for research. Thousands more people know about SUDC because of you. Helping even one family is worth ALL the feelings involved.

Your pregnancy was an adventure.
Giving birth to you was a BIG adventure.
Your life was such an adventure.
And still, you are an adventure. Even still.
1 month closer. Dance with Jesus little one. You are treasured. #MissyouE
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
We are overwhelmed friends. We are awed at the way you stand with us. We are thankful that you say his name with us. We are strengthened by the way you lift us up to the Father. We pray blessings and blessings upon each of you.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Happy 7 Months in Heaven



Happy 7 months in Heaven my sweet boy! I probably say this every time but how on THE world has it been that long? Time seems to be simultaneously crawling by ever so slowly and barreling by like a runaway train with no brakes. Ezra, I dreamed of you last night. I don’t remember having done that before (but it is totally possible). I don’t remember anything about the dream except for your sweet face. Your blue blue eyes. You kinda had that pouty face that happened when we weren’t feeding you fast enough! I miss that face. Who am I kidding? I miss ALL your faces. What a gift that dream was.

As I type this, I am sitting in Sugar’s house. I am sitting here, the very place where you took your last earthly breath. We are back for Dittos. The same thing we were here for in March. My anxiety and trepidation are through the roof. The memories of you are everywhere. Every. Single. Room. Tears fall freely. Stopping them is not really even an option.

When I am in the master bedroom, I remember waking you from your nap. And the realization that we were in big trouble with your still body and discoloration.

When I am in the living room, I remember the paramedics whisking you out the front door on a stretcher or something.

Also, in the living room, is where we sat and told your brother and sisters that you were in Heaven...you did not wake up.

When I am in the front bedroom, I remember Izzy lying in a ball on the floor crying and asking the question “Is he breathing yet Mommy? Mommy, is he ok???”

When I am in the back bedroom, I remember crying the entire first night and checking Israel’s breathing every 10 minutes.

When I am on the porch, I remember the interview with cps.

When I look to the road in front of the house, I remember seeing your Daddy for the first time on March 1st.

But when I am in the kitchen, that’s the hardest one. That’s where I remember doing CPR on your sweet body while talking to the 911 operator. The kitchen is where I breathed for you, prayed for you, and watched all your siblings enter into a nightmare. The kitchen is where I saw the paramedics cut off your onesie as they worked on you.

The triggers are everywhere. They hit me from out of nowhere. Hard, fast, intense.

But for you, my boy, I will not allow myself to stay there. For you, I will look past the memories of that ONE day. I will force my brain to remember ALL the other memories you have made here.

When I am in the master bedroom, I will remember changing your diaper 100’s of times. I will remember nursing you. I will remember tickling you there and your huge grin!

When I am in the living room, I will remember you learning how to pull up, throwing the toys everywhere, and chasing your brother with the plastic kid baseball bat laughing hysterically!

When I am in the front bedroom, I will remember bath times, your love for the water, and you trying to escape every time I tried to dress you!

When I am in the back bedroom, I will remember chasing you there. You squealing. I will remember you and Daddy tickling on the back bed.

When I am on the porch, I will remember you playing outside with the trucks and you looking out the window longingly to play in the snow over Christmas.

When I look to the road in the front of the house, I will remember your excitement every time we arrived at Sugar’s house for a visit. I will also remember how great of a traveller you were.

When I am in the kitchen, I will remember so many things. 1. Baths in the sink. 2. Feeding you bananas for the first time and you trying to pull the spoon away from us and feed yourself! 3. You finding the Tupperware drawer and emptying it in record speed. 4. Eating. So much eating.

You are worth every single effort I have to make to remember the BEST times. We miss you every. Single. Day. All of us. You are a blessing. I am so thankful to be your Momma. I love you, sweet boy. Dance with Jesus, Ezra. We are one month closer to you. #MissyouE

I am SO SO thankful Lord that we will see him again. I am so so thankful Jesus made a way. I am so so thankful that you hold our hearts as we heal. I am so so thankful that you hold us up as we take the next step we don’t think we can take.

1 Corinthians 2:9b
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Thursday, September 1, 2016

6 Months..already

September 1st. Here it is again..the first of the month. It is no longer thoughts of payday...now it is a marker. The time without Ezra marker.

It is unfathomable to me that you, my sweet Ezra, have lived in Heaven for 6 months. It is equally unfathomable, that we have lived 6 months without you in our home. 6 months. I miss you so much I can hardly breathe sometimes. I am not sure how it is even possible to miss you more now than I did in March...but it is true. We packed a whole bunch of activity/travel into this summer. We traveled, we laughed, we played, we explored, we stayed out late, we stayed up late, and we flew by the seat of our pants. We made memories. But every single day, at every single activity, we missed you. You were missing. I thought about you at every turn. “E would have loved this!” “We wouldn’t have even attempted this with E” “What would Ezra be doing here?” “How would it be different with Ezra here?” “Are you sure I don’t need a stroller, a diaper bag, tons of snacks, toys, cups, and paci’s for this 2 hour activity?”

All that to say we miss you so. We all do. I know that you are lighting up Heaven. I have never in my life been so thankful for Heaven. For Jesus. For the cross. For the stone rolled away. For forever. For the peace I have knowing where you are right now. I think of you there, E,having a blast. Learning, growing, exploring, worshiping… and it fills me with joy...painful joy (is that even a thing?) I LOVE where you are. That is always the goal. My mama heart just wants to be holding you, caring for you, chasing you, feeding you, teaching you, learning from you, helping you, hugging you, kissing you. THIS is a mama’s job. It is a mama’s joy.

This path we’ve walked since March 1st is unnatural. It is unwanted. It is rugged, windy, slippery, and unknown. It is not my choice. But, it is now my job. It is our road to walk now. To live without you here. To love you but not see you. To heal. We love you so much Ezra. We talk of you, about you, and to you all the time. Miss all of you. Every. Single. Part. (even poopy diapers but in all honesty Izzy does not miss that part! He told me a few days ago!) #MissyouE

Last week our 11 year old got out of bed, walked into the living room, and with tears running down her face looked at me and spoke these words. “Mom, of all the people in the whole world, why us?” Tears leaked down my face...because no one should cry alone :) Oh, how I understand what she is saying….where she is coming from. I get it. Totally. But what sprung to my lips was this:

“I don’t know. I don’t know why us. But, why not us? Jesus said that in this world we WILL have trouble. This is what it looks like for us. This is trouble. There are SO many types of trouble.

I have a friend who is fighting cancer. Trouble.

I have a friend whose husband walked out on her and her littles for another woman. Trouble.

I have friends that are looking for work, and don’t have enough money. Trouble.

I have a friend who is watching their best friend slip closer to Heaven and further from them. Trouble.

I have a friend that has lost multiple babies in her womb and longs to hold them. Trouble.

I have a friend whose family has been ripped apart by tragedy. Trouble.

I have a friend that struggles daily with depression. Trouble

I have a friend…..this list could go on and on. These troubles are not our trouble. So, sweet girl. All I know is this is ours to walk through. Everyone has something. Everyone. But Jesus has overcome the world. And as we “walk through our trouble”, we keep our eyes on the One who overcame it all.” (John 16:33)

It is a great reminder. We are all walking through something. Everyone. So we will show love, kindness,forgiveness...repeat. Walk alongside one another in the midst of trouble. Lift one another up in prayer. And press into the ONE who has overcome the world!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Fifth First


Ezra boy. We miss you so much. Five months ago you left us. Five months. You have already been gone a third of the time you were here on Earth. A third. I have no idea how that is possible. It seems you were the wild card in the family. You are the one that moved us into a bigger vehicle (we fit in a sedan now...sadly). You were the one that was not yet talking and just kind of grunted and pointed when you expressed yourself (making an interesting game of charades for the rest of us). You are the one we had to close all the doors in the house for (so you wouldn't bathe in the toilet water or empty your drawers in 5 seconds). You are the one that we swept daily for (so you wouldn't eat food off the ground). You were so central to our world.. All of our worlds . We each had such a sweet, special, relationship with you. Now we each have a unique hole, unique memories, and a unique way of grieving you. I miss you baby boy more than I could ever put into words. Some days the longing for you is so deep...so so deep. You forever changed us E. We love deeper because of you. We think eternally because of you. Our hurt is great, but that is because we love you so much. I am ok with that. I love you baby boy. Miss you like crazy.
Thank you friends for loving us. For being willing to have awkward conversations, deep conversations, or just letting us talk about Ezra. We thank God for you every time we think of you. I wanted to let you read a writing from Jake. It is so amazing…. It needs to be shared. It is a hope filled message written right after E died. 
❤️

From life to Life to LIFE

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

HEB=Confusion=LIfe


HEB is a place I frequent. San Antonio is HEB mecca. We live ½ a mile away from our HEB. Not only do I know where everything is located, my kids do too. It had been over 2 weeks since I had been to HEB w/our Colorado trip and mandatory ‘eat the food we have in the fridge’ beforehand. I walked in pretty much on auto pilot. Headed for the paper plates...priorities. It wasn’t until I got to the egg/milk/juice/yogurt area that I really honed in to the fact that things were significantly different. I didn’t think that much of it because all the same foods were in the general area they were before. Just a tiny bit of backtracking and an extra lap around that area and I was on my way. Still in my own little world, I headed to the produce area. Besides moving where the apples were...again..everything was great. So I headed down the first aisle (to be candid we had only bottled water and condiments in our refrigerator) and stopped in the middle. Just stopped. Instead of finding ketchup, I found bread. Bread. Bread belongs in the middle of the store. I really did stand there and look around trying to recalibrate my brain. What I was seeing and what I knew to be true were NOT lining up. That was just the beginning of the confusion. Aisle after aisle I stopped in the middle and just looked around looking for “my” things. Things that have been in that spot for over 9 nine years…. gone. I ended up walking down EVERY aisle(some multiple times) so I didn’t miss key ingredients to the meal. I was so flustered. The trip took me triple the time it usually does. Walking through HEB that day was confusing. Walking through HEB that day was unsettling. It was no longer carefree..it was labored..and burdensome...heavy and almost frustrating. How similar the reconfiguration of our HEB is to our current life. Don’t get me wrong, rearranging is great. We had a forced redesign. We had a tragedy. Things that we KNEW to be true look different. The Smith’s are still the same “HEB”. We still have the same “ingredients” in our lives (minus E baby) But, everything is different. Things that were given a center aisle are not anymore. Some things that were in the back corner of our store, are now in a prominent display. Some items that were center stage for us are brought even closer to the front.
I can no longer make a list in the order of the store and dart in, shop and go. I no longer know where everything is. This so relates to our life right now. EVERYTHING was shaken up. EVERYTHING. You really have to reevaluate every single thing. And there are not a lot of clear answers….or really any answers at all. I don’t claim to know it all, but I have come to these three things I know are truth.
1. God Loves me.
2. Jesus died (and rose) for me. 
3. God is good.
I can count on these three things when nothing else is clear. And somehow that is enough right now. 
I guess number 4 would be that Heaven is real and my baby boy is there right now!
So I know 4 things. Not much. But enough for now. ‪#‎MissyouE‬
Lyrics to Steady….a song that has become a theme song of sorts for me right now.
You’re my true north when I’m headed south
My constant solid ground
You are my lantern in the night
When I’m twisted up and shaken
You’re the one I put my faith in
Yeah, you’re the reason I survive
[Chorus:]
You keep me steady when the sky is falling
And I’ll keep steady after You
I’ll carry on when my strength is failing
Take heart ‘cause You’re with me
So let the stars drop, whatever comes
I’ll be ready, You keep me steady
You keep me steady
You’re a river, You cover me
When the bombs fall, You’re the cavalry
Somehow You’re always standing right by my side
So no matter what I will be facing
I will not be overtaken
And You are the only reason why
[Chorus]
You’re my hiding place, my home
And fear cannot invade these four walls
I need You near, I need You here