we took kate to a local pumpkin patch yesterday. it was our first outing as a family in a long time. it was nice to have fun together, but we couldn't help feel that someone was missing. kate got to pick out a big pumpkin for herself, and a baby pumpkin for jonathan. she is very aware that she has a baby brother named jonathan. i am certain she remembers meeting him. when you ask her who her brother is, she always says, "baby!" and when you ask what the baby's name is, she will say, "jon-than." she also recognizes him from his pictures.
on the way back home from the pumpkin patch, we stopped to visit jonathan's grave. greg and i always note how beautiful it is where he is buried. the flowers from the funeral were fragrant and still blooming even though it had been several days now. the trees are still very green and full of life in spite of the falling temperatures. yesterday, it was very breezy, so the windchimes hanging all around the other graves were dancing and singing nonstop in the wind. there was a patch of sun right over jonathan's grave, as if to keep him warm. we could have spent hours there with him.
then today, we went to church for the first time since jonathan was born. we missed going for a couple of weeks there at the end of my pregnancy, since things were getting worse with jonathan. it was good to be back, and it did make things feel more "normal" again. afterwards, we again stopped by jonathan's grave since it was just next door. we wanted to make sure none of the flowers had blown over in the wind. when we were about to drive away, kate said, "bye-bye, jon-than!" in the voice of a sweet big sister.
i hope normalcy doesn't mean that kate forgets she has a baby brother. or that we try to fill our days with meaningless chores and obligations, in order to "take our mind off" of missing jonathan. or even worse, that we try to fill that "God-sized" hole in our hearts with anything other than God.
so i don't want to go back to normalcy. for how can we go back to the way we were, once we have met this little boy? how can we go back to who we were before, after we have experienced a greater love and emerged from this trial with a deeper faith? how can we be anything but changed for the better for what we experienced through this journey? we have been called to be better than what we were before jonathan came to be. so thanks to a little boy, who was deemed "not compatible with life" and only lived for 40 minutes....we have learned what life is truly all about.
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away." ~ Anonymous
we sang this song at church today, "you are good". it is such a fitting song for our journey. He is so very good.