We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, spent with Chris' family. Charlotte had many 2nd cousins to play with, and was especially happy to run around with the older girls. This was the first year that she was able to do that, and we didn't have to be glued to her side for her safety.
As we celebrated Thanksgiving this year, it didn't seem possible that this is the second year we have celebrated without little Ryan here. We never shared this holiday, or Christmas with Ryan, so we don't have any memories of him with us on these holidays. Somehow, that makes it that much harder. The only memory I have is what flowers we placed at his grave, and even this time last year, his grave marker was just put into place. Remembering how fresh his loss was last year, pains me that we have come so far, and also makes me hopeful. Losing Ryan in our lives has not devastated us to the point of turning our backs on our faith, yet it has shaped us to be even more than we knew we could be. God is powerful, and only His grace could be capable of such.
As I type, I am 8 weeks pregnant with our 3rd baby. I am scared to love again, and scared to lose again. But, I know this baby needs every ounce of hope and faith that I have, just as my other two children have needed that in me. My mother recently shared a story with me of another family going through similar heartache as we have. Their son's name is Bowen, and he has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a congenital heart defect that is very serious. His father is Matt Hammitt, the singer of Sanctus Real. He wrote a song for his little boy, that brought me to tears instantly as he expresses much of what my heart has felt. Please go to www.bowensheart.com, and listen to the feed for the song, "All of Me". His story was featured on ABC News, if you search for Baby Bowen, you will find it. (I have added this blog to our list on the side column)