Monday, July 20, 2009

A Letter to Joseph

Dear Joseph,

I received a birthday invitation to your little buddy's 5th birthday the other day. It was then that it hit me: we are a month away from your 5th birthday. And also about a month from the day we said goodbye to you. The time goes by but the heartache remains the same.

Sweet Joseph, I miss you every day. Every day I ache to see you, touch your sweet face, hear your loud, boisterous voice and laugh. No-one can ever replace the special, beautiful little boy you were to us. When you were little I used to marvel at the depth I would see in your eyes. It seemed they were older than your tender age. You seemed to understand, get things, before you should have. And you proved it with your advanced humor. You could make jokes that adults found funny. But you also proved it with your kind heart and eagerness to love and live life fully.

I loved your mischievous spirit. You always laughed the hardest and had the best gleam in your eye when you thought you or someone else was getting into mischief. You would flap your arms up and down and squeal with delight when you were younger. Then as you got older you would smile excitedly and shrug your shoulders and share the mischief with your partner in crime. You would say things like "Let's not tell Daddy we had another brownie!" or "Let's not tell Mommy I got to stay up late." It was always so fun to share a mischievous secret.

You, with your child-like passion and love for life, grew me up as a person and as a mother. You taught me to get over my selfishness, my need for order, my need for control. I realize now that the most important thing is to appreciate and love fully the ones you treasure. Having a house that's in order will not go in the photo albums. I used to get so stressed about how messy our house got, but now I wish for the mess...the cars and trains all over the place, evidence of a happy child playing.

Anyway, dear Joseph, how I wish we could have a party for you to enjoy. I would love to see you playing with your friends, tearing into presents, and gobbling up your cake. But I know you are celebrating in heaven and your joy and life are complete. We will treasure the days and years we had with you and I will be forever thankful for the lessons I learned from my sweet boy.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Joe P's Rally Run Website

Joseph's 5K now has a website! You can register to run or just donate to the cause right there on the website. We are hoping to raise $25,000 to fund more research for childhood cancer. I think we can do it! This is the website:

Thank you so much to Matt P. and Rally foundation for working so hard to get this up and running. It will be in Nashville on October 31st. It is not intentionally on Halloween--that is just the date that worked for Centennial Park.

I'm sorry I have been so long in updating! We have settled back into Atlanta and are enjoying our new home. I had a lot of fear/anxiety about coming back and being away from family and Allen starting back into a crazy schedule but so far God has made the transition relatively easy for us. We have a great community of friends here so Holly and I have been enjoying reconnecting with friends and their kids and she and I have been exploring our new area of town, finding the library and pools and such. We just joined our neighborhood pool (which we didn't even know about when we moved in!), so I can see that being a great source of entertainment for the rest of the summer. We also had a nice couple of weeks before Allen started back at work. For Father's Day he was lucky enough to get princess Yahtzee, a game he has been begging for for months :). Holly likes to play this game approximately 5.3 million times a day. Isn't this guy a trooper? He even participates in tea parties.

Allen had a couple of weeks of orientation but officially started back at Emory on Wednesday. He had completed 6 months of his intern year, so they gave him credit for that. This was the hospital where we took Joseph initially so there have been moments that have been very emotional for him. I cannot imagine even stepping foot inside that hospital without just breaking down, so I am so proud of him for entering back into this despite all the obstacles. It is not humanly possible to get through this, as I know he will be confronted with children that remind him of Joseph or have similar illnesses, but (as trite as this sounds) with Christ all things are possible. And somehow in our very weakest state, He is glorified most.

The baby is growing steadily and I'm wondering (again) if my belly could possibly grow any more. I know it can but when I look at it I just don't see how it's possible. I have about 2 more months until my due date, but who knows when this baby will make her appearance? Joseph was 10 days late and Holly was 5 days late, but I'm really hoping this one won't wait that long! She is moving around a ton, and often I will think something has hit my belly but it's just her kicking me, letting me know she liked her lunch. :) Here is an updated picture:

I am so thankful for this new little life inside me and hope it will help in this continual healing process. Having Holly to care for and snuggle with and entertain has been vital for me this last year. I just cannot imagine losing a child and then just having an empty house--no-one to wake me up in the morning or need playdates or activities, etc. . I don't even want to imagine what state I would be in if that were the case.

I had a doctor's appointment today and everything looked great. The doctor even let me have another ultrasound--just because. She was measuring great and she estimated the baby weighed about 3.5 pounds. It is amazing to me that she will most likely gain another 5 or so pounds in the next few weeks.

I hope you all are enjoying the summer and getting to enjoy pools and beaches and cookouts and all that fun summer stuff. Hope to see you October 31st!