Sunday, October 22, 2017

Family History Month - post 18

My 18th post for Family History Month should have been made on the 18th, but as you've noticed, I'm running a little behind. October 18th is my son Levi's birthday. He would have been one year old last Wednesday.

So much has changed in the year since he was born. We got to experience the craziness of trying to do things with four little kids, carrying diaper bags for two kids in diapers, creating Halloween costumes for six people, all of it. And we loved it. Every minute of it.

That sweet little boy made everyone happier just by virtue of being there. No matter how tired or grumpy I was when he needed feeding or changing at 2am, when I saw his little face, all of that just melted away, and I was ready to do anything for that little boy.

At his funeral, I remember having this sense of peace, and comfort, and actually a feeling joy at being able to do something to commemorate my little boy, and being amazed at how many people there were. I loved having my family there, especially since Lisa's sister and mom flew in, as did my brother and his whole family. It was a feeling of love and togetherness that we sorely needed, and just reveled in while they were all there.
Since then, the outpouring of love and help and comfort we received was overwhelming. Friends, family, coworkers, and complete strangers stepped in to carry us through those days and weeks. It was very humbling to be the recipient of so much love and attention.

I can honestly say that in many ways I'm a different person than I was a year ago. My priorities have shifted, I cut out a lot of stuff in my life that wasn't making me happy, or helping me become who I wanted to be. The grief I felt is still there, but it's morphed into something different - I still miss my son more than I can say, but I have a deeper assurance that death is not the end of life, that there is more to come and I will be reunited with Levi again.

This experience has also shown me something I never expected to see - the unrelenting goodness in so many people. The people that still reach out, that leave small expressions or tokens of understanding and sympathy, that lend a hand to others despite their own heart-wrenching sorrows. This kind of stuff doesn't make into the news, but it should, because it just builds your soul to see and experience that kind of love from other people. Just knowing that there are so many good people out there is hugely comforting.

It has been amazing to see the impact of Levi's life in my life, the lives of my family, friends, the kind souls at the Tears Foundation, and many others. Even more amazing is that the ripples are still continuing - people are still reaching out, blessing others, helping others, because of him. If one little boy, who lived a total of 66 days, can have that kind of impact, imagine what all of us could do, all the lives we could touch and help and lift. I think I can make that my gift to Levi - taking what I felt when I was around him, and helping others feel it.

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