Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Something to cry about....

I was watching a photography "webinar" tonight, about maternity portraits, and this particular instructor is involved with the charitable organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS), where professional photographers provide beautiful portraits to parents of stillborn babies, or babies who die shortly after birth. We never had a NILMDTS shoot with Everett, but it prompted me to go back to his photos and look them over once again, and the significance of his struggle, and of our loss hit me like a tidal wave. All over again. Seeing his life played out in sequence, in photographs we never knew would be our only photographs is unreal. If I had have known I was documenting the only days of his life, I would have done a better job, I would have taken more, I would have tried to capture every inch of his beautiful little body.

These pictures don't do him justice.

He looks big, but he was so little.

You can't tell just how much he looked like Landon.

But they're the only pictures I have, and they're haunting. They show his downward spiral, from healthy to incredibly and desperately ill. As each day passes more staff and more equiptment congregate around his bedside.

When I look at these, life seems to re-prioritize itself, what really matters becomes very apparent. When you realize there's so much we take for granted, including our children, it because very easy to see all the trivial things we take too seriously and get far too wound up about. Saucy kids? Drained bank account? A few extra pounds? A broken marriage? Insignificant. My baby died. My gorgeous, innocent, and much loved baby was born with a horrendous heart defect, lived 20 days of uphill struggle and then he died. That's something to cry about.

But, his strength, his endurance, his breath taking beauty, the lives he touched, the love he evoked, the memories he's left, the passion he's inspired, the good that has been done in his name, are all reasons to be comforted, and to be grateful to have ever had him at all.

At the heart of it all, the love we have for one another is all that really matters. And nothing is more worthy of your tears then lost or wasted time with your life's most precious people.

Put down that book, that broom, those dishes, that laundry, and go love up your children, who are the most amazing blessing you'll ever know. When the act out, act up, act horrible, even on their worst days, they're still more then you'll ever deserve, little gifts from God to teach you about what life is all about, cherish them accordingly. Life is short, sometimes exaggeratedly short, celebrate each and every second, as cliche as it may sound, as though it were your last together.

If I had have known I was living our last days together, I would have done so much more with it. I would have insisted on holding him more, touching him more, mothering him more, and capturing more of him in pictures, enough images of his sweet face to last a life time.


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