May 17th was a difficult day, but it wasn't horrible. Graham and I went together to a counselor I have been talking to since we lost our little guy. She's a wonderful lady who has really helped me a lot. I think I enjoy talking to her so much, because she listens about Henry. She listens about the dreams I had for my son that will never be realized. Later in the afternoon, we planted a peace lily that we were given after we buried Henry and another unknown plant that I got as a gift on Mother's Day. They are in our front yard, and every time I drive up, I'm reminded of my little baby. My aunt Laura sent me some wind chimes with "Henry" engraved on them. Every time the wind blows, I'll hear the sweet music and I'll know that he is singing to my heart. Life has gone on and life is very good for our little family. But there is an emptiness in our hearts that we are having to learn to live with. We have many milestones that come and go, and happy moments that we wish so badly we could share with our sweet angel.
Henry's brother, Conner, is such an absolute joy, that I find it hard to stay sad for long. He has turned into a spunky, sweet, and adorable toddler who brings immeasurable laughter into our lives. We are truly blessed with this incredible child. One of the toughest things for me through all of this is knowing that Conner would have been such an amazing big brother to Henry. I remember what it was like when Conner was just a little tiny baby, and sometimes I find myself closing my eyes and thinking of what it would have been like to hold them both in my arms, with Conner on my lap and Henry on my shoulder. Conner smelled so sweet to me when he was first born that when I was holding him, I just nuzzled his hair and skin all the time. I wonder if Henry would have smelled the same way. I think about Heaven all the time now. I wonder what it's like and what Henry is doing there. I wonder who is taking care of him, and does he know who I am? I'm now part of a club of mothers who have lost babies before even getting to hold them. It's not a club that anyone ever wants to a join, but in becoming a member to this club, I have been given more love and compassion that I ever thought possible. I have friends and family members who have opened their hearts and arms and embraced me and Graham in our time of need and sadness. We have been prayed for, hugged, loved, allowed to cry, been made to laugh, picked up, brushed off, and supported every step of the way. Most importantly, Henry has never been forgotten by any of them. I have found that staying busy is the easiest way to carry on. Traveling is a wonderful way to stay busy, so with free flight benefits, we have logged a lot of miles. I've been to Raleigh, Williamsburg, Charlotte, Sanibel, Clarion, Jamaica, Haiti, and Dublin, visiting friends, family, or just relaxing and seeing some sights. All along the way, I've kept my Henry Thomas in the forefront of my mind and heavy on my heart. Many times I have questioned God and wondered why this incredible sadness has to happen to me or anyone else. But I realize that God doesn't allow these things to happen. He can't control what happens in our lives. But, God has provided us with the tools needed to survive these tragedies. My mom told me about a song titled "Blessings" and there is a verse that says, "What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy. What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights, are your mercies in disguise." Through this heart-wrenching ordeal, we have been shown many blessings. I love listening to music when I'm trying to figure out a way to put words to my feelings. The Dave Matthew's song, "The Space Between," has a line that says, "The space between the tears we cry, is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more." There is no lyric more true to me now than that one. I have so much joy and happiness filled into a space between tears I cry for my lost baby. That joy and laughter is what keeps me going when the sadness seems overwhelming.
On the evening of May 17th, we were getting ready to take Conner upstairs to get him ready for bed. It was raining pretty hard, and I looked outside. Through the clouds and the rain, I looked up and saw a beautiful rainbow. My mom was over, helping with Conner and supporting us on our hard day, and we both looked at each other and knew it had to be a sign. On a day that was supposed to be filled with the happiness, joy, and excitement of a new life, we were instead lost and heartbroken. But there, when we needed some kind of sign, we looked up and we knew there is something greater than us all, giving us hope and the promise of a life beyond what we know here.