After a few days of sadness and reflecting and some amazing messages from some amazing friends (I would not survive without the support of my TTTS mommy friends!) I wanted to post and tell you all why things really are wonderful.
This weekend we spent a lot of time working outdoors. Geoff worked on the kids swing set and I worked on Cole's garden. The first day I worked on it I had Cameron 'helping' me. I found myself singing 'On Eagles Wings' and felt this amazing sense of peace. Cameron came up to me and hugged me as I sang and put his head on my shoulder.
When I came inside I was inspired to hear this song sung by someone more talented than me and I found this version. The pictures are beautiful though totally ignore the comments about baby's lost to abortion and the rambles of those on youtube from there...really not my intention to post that part.
And I'm pretty sure that the song popped into my head when I saw this beautiful statue....
And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.
As I worked that day I decided this garden is my favourite place and my place of peace and remembrance of Cole.
I could really feel him here...and with the sun streaming down and swirling around in this picture...I could almost 'see' his spirit I think.
When we decided to build this garden we had planned to have Cole's ashes placed in it. We weren't sure if this was the best idea in case we moved etc. So we changed the location of the garden but then ran into the maintenance issue...if we put it where we don't live than who maintains it. So it ended up here, with contributions from so many wonderful friends and relatives and his urn stayed in the house...in his twin brothers room.
This weekend I decided I needed him to have a place...that I needed a place to go when I want to remember, to take balloons on his birthday, to take flowers on his angelversary...a place for Cole where Cole is. And so some of his ashes are there and I can't believe the sense of peace this has brought me. Such a little gesture and yet...
Guarded by a sweet angel child statue...
And with so many loving messages to him and to us.... the peace surrounds me here.
This one was my Mother's Day present and I decided today to reflect on the messages that each of the stones has.
"Those we have held in our arms for awhile we hold in our hearts forever". For me this is somewhat of a hard phrase to process...I didn't hold Cole before he passed away...not in my arms. But I held him in my womb, I felt his kicks, I saw him move on the ultrasound, I heard his heartbeat. And I did hold his still body. And I loved him with every minute of the 20+ weeks I carried him alive, with every second of the 11 weeks I carried him after he passed, and with every breath I take and have taken in the 16+ months since he was born. He has a very special place in my heart and he will be in my heart forever.
After last week and our visit with Dr. Ryan I think this stone speaks to me more about Cameron but also about both my boys. Life is full of difficulties. Though it has, by far, been the most difficult journey of my life and the hardest thing I've ever gone through it isn't the first time that I've been devastated by the loss of a loved one and I'm certain that it isn't the last time that I will find life to be difficult. But miracles do grow out of difficulties. Cameron is a sign of this but so is the faith journey that TTTS has taken me on. I find it to be a miracle somedays that my sanity is still in tact LOL! I also find it a miracle that from this difficult time I have been able to go on and help others, to show them God's love, to see the positives and feel the love and support of those around them. Difficulties really do grow miracles!
"The best and most beautiful things in the World cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."
This stone was given to us by one of Cole's grandparents and is so fitting from them especially as they did not see or touch their grandson. Most people didn't and yet I think many can sense the beautiful child he was, the grace he bestowed, the love he taught us all. We can feel him in our hearts as we can feel God's love all around us. Sometimes it is so hard to believe in something you can't see or touch. Sometimes it's even hard to believe that Cole was even with us for a brief time. But taking time to be still, to be silent and FEEL... that person, that love...it's right there in your heart...never doubt that.
This stone didn't have the same meaning to me a year ago that it does today. A year ago it was the kind message from my friend Karen, it was a message to say 'chin up, you can do this', a message reminding me to have strength. But now it means something totally different.
Cole's garden offers me a place of peace. It is a place to go when I need to calm down, when I need quiet and solace, when I need him and his sweet baby angel presence. His garden is his place, the place where his headstone is, the place where we have placed his very essence. But he is all around me...I see him in so much that happens here. In his brothers laughter, their conversations and in their prayers. I see it his twin's smile... in the twinkle in Cameron's eye.
His garden is a place that gives me strength... the strength to endure the sadness that comes when I think of what I wish, what I dream. He gives me strength just as God gives me strength.
But the grace to accept...as hard as that is...as hard as it is to accept that this is the life God intends for me...not one always full of easiness and happiness but one of struggles, sadness, tears and laughter, love and joy. I need the grace to accept this and am working towards this very message.
Ah yes, this stone says so much to me!
"Leave room in your garden for the angels to dance" . This stone came from some of the greatest groups of friends I have...the girls I can dance with and be myself with...with whom I get my night out each week. Sometimes I wonder if we don't all have a problem not leaving room in the garden for dancing angels. If we don't fill our lives up with so much busy-ness, so many activities with our kids, committees to belong to etc. Leaving room for time to reflect, time to pray, time to be alone and be still. When I leave time for my angels to dance...and time to dance with my angels, I feel renewed and able to endure more. Thankfully I have this amazing garden in which to spend time reflecting and allowing the angels to dance around me and remind me of all the great gifts God has given me.
Cole's 'headstone'... a fitting tribute and a young life held in God's hands and protected by his love. Knowing that my son is with God and that he, unlike all of us, endured no suffering before he reached the Kingdom of Heaven...well that brings me so much peace.
A wonderful blessing and gift from Cameron's godparents (whom I'll always think of as Cole's as well). God has blessed me with such wonderful people in my life and He is blessing my son with a life in Heaven.
And the best part about this garden...about Cole's resting place being in our backyard...is that he is with his brothers each day as they play and live life to it's fullest. Their shrieks of laughter last night reminded me that life is for the living, the life is so very precious and living each day to the fullest and praising God each day for the life He's given me...well that is the best thing I can do.
And what a thing of peace...and what a place of piece... that is.